Hey y'all! I'm Rosie Gagnon from the Shenandoah Valley - Woodstock, Virginia. I'm a wife & mom of 8, artist, sheep farmer, and ultra-runner!
I began running in 2002 for weight loss. It's funny to look back at how proud I was of my 2 miles out and back course on a suburban sidewalk!
I've always been active but have also struggled with a binge eating disorder for as long as I can remember. Growing up very poor, the pattern of stuffing myself whenever there was good food to eat, stuck with me & over the years I found I could only avoid obesity with dedicated exercise. I was still a hobby runner, participating in a few races here and there, until 2 key events happened in my life in spring 2017: I was running 40-50 miles a week when a good friend challenged me to train for my first marathon, and about the same time my son who was suicidal with mental health issues disappeared for 2 weeks. While authorities searched for him, I took to the road. Running longer and longer miles, I worked through prayer, anguish, worry, and acceptance and found that while exhausting my body I gained an inner strength to deal with the challenges I was facing. At the same time, I found I was capable of far more endurance than I'd ever imagined!
About that time I came across a video by Timothy Olson describing the high-fat diet of an ultra marathoner. At that point, my focus changed from wanting to complete a marathon to deciding to become a fat adapted ultramarathoner.
By nature I am a homebody and prefer to be at my farm with my family and my sheep, but there is something so magical about running distance... finding yourself on a trail alone in the middle of a race, and running for hours on very little fuel except the strength and reserves that exist in your own body. It is so empowering. Since spring I've had the opportunity to participate in my first marathon and 2 ultras and took 2nd place in my age group in my first 50-mile race.
While I generally train fasting, during a race I get my most reliable steady endurance fueling with SFuel bars. My primary goal up until now has been fat burning, but as I train to a position where I can begin to compete, I am excited to experiment with strategic carbs. Running on a LCHF diet has not only helped me transform from a hobby runner into an ultra runner at age 44, but it has also helped me to conquer my lifetime binge eating disorder. I realized after educating myself about the ketogenic diet that it didn't come from a lack of willpower, but from insulin and leptin resistance. That changed literally a lifetime of misery and feeling out of control! I now have a feeling of ultimate control when I can fuel my body in a healthy way to complete a 50-mile race! It is truly amazing and I am excited to have begun a new chapter of my life.