Friday, January 1, 2021

I'm a TROT Ambassador!

 Happy New Year!

So I have a bit of exciting news to share!  If you read the title then you know what it is.  I am officially a Trail Racing Over Texas ambassador!  We are known as the TROT Tribe!

Trail Racing Over Texas

So what does that mean?  Basically, I get to promote TROT races and be part of a kick-ass community.  What does that mean for you?  More posts about running and racing and an invitation to join the community by running and interacting with us.  

As you lived in 2020, you probably noticed that not many races were held.  TROT actually held some live races in the Fall and even with the awesome COVID protocols, due to my parent living with me, I just didn't feel like I could risk it.  So in 2020, I ran Running the Rose (11 miles), which was a TROT race, and then the Race for Hope Half-Marathon here in Lufkin, both pre-Covid.  

Now in 2020, I more or less kept my commitment to run 40 miles per month.  I got a total of 700 miles for the year but I'll be honest, I didn't always get 40 per month. I used running to survive working from home so in May and June I got 100 each month then I more or less coasted to 700.  Had I actually kept my 40 per month then there is no telling how many miles I could have gotten?  Part of my running was I was training for my 1st 50k and then when I saw that running a race was just not safe enough for my family, I just felt like the wind was out of my sails.  Getting the TROT ambassadorship means I'm back at it.  Back to training for my 1st 50k.  I will be an ultramarathoner by the end of 2021.  Actually, I'm targeting late April at the TROT Brazos Bend 50.  

Okay back to the point of this post, I want to tell you about TROT and why I wanted to work with them.  So like I mentioned earlier, I have run a few races with TROT.  I have also run with a different trail racing company and I can tell you TROT is the best.  Rob, the race director/owner, has created a community for all runners.  So many races are focused on elite athletes.  If the back of the pack runner finishes great but the race isn't really for them.  Rob does not operate that way.  He wants everyone to run and enjoy trails.  Rob makes sure he has plenty of food and drinks at the aid stations and that aid stations aren't so far apart a runner would be in danger.  Trust me, not all racing companies worry about that.  

You know I'm a fluffy runner.  I'm a plus-sized runner.  I'm a "back of the pack", I just want to finish runner.  My run at Tejas in September 2019 is the race that made me love TROT.  Y'all I almost didn't finish. It was hot and humid.  The trail is hard.  Rob saw me come into the aid station and talked me into finishing.  He gave me tips.  He gave me encouragement.  Everybody at that race did that for me.  When I ran Running the Rose, Jan 2020, just weeks after recovering from pneumonia, I did so knowing that if it when south on me, I would be safe.  I knew someone would find me and help me get to safety if I just couldn't move anymore.  There might be world-champs on the trail but when I run with TROT, I feel like I'm an elite athlete.  I get fed.  I get hydrated.  I get love.  All of that comes from the top down.  It starts with ROB!

So run with TROT!  On January 16, from 2pm-7pm CST, TROT will be hosting a Signupathon.  25% of race entries and race credits, y'all races will be on sale but just during that time so hop on to the TROT Facebook page and join in the fun.

I hope some of you will join TROT for a race or two this upcoming season.  Races usually have a 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k, and 50 Mile+ option so there is a doable distance for everyone with a published cut off time.  You can totally do it!

If you have questions you can always drop me an email martha (at) wheatlessmama (dot) com  
If you live local to me then please feel free to contact me about joining me for a trail run.  Yes, it can be scary to get out there alone, especially on a trail you have never run so reach out and let run/walk/crawl a few miles together!

Monday, December 7, 2020

Even if it cost you everything: Jeannie Gaffigan

 Depending on what you view for entertainment, you may or may not know who Jeannie Gaffigan is.  Hopefully, you know her husband, Jim Gaffigan.  Both are known as strong family values people and are openly Catholic.  So what does that have to do with anything?

Let me take you back a couple of years to a guy named Colin Kaepernick.  He was a pro-football player who refused to stand for the National Anthem.  He chose to kneel.  He was working to bringing attention and change to police interactions with the Black community.  He lost his job.  He lost his career.  He put it all on the line and it cost him.  Nike, the shoe company, then ran an ad campaign around not just Mr. Kaepernick but his sacrifice was the kickoff point.

Again, what the hell does that have to do with the Gaffigans?  Jim's career has been built on him being a good Christian dad.  Jeannie is an amazing writer and the brains behind his career moves.  They have granted lots of interviews and seek opportunities that are on-brand for them.  They don't go out and do un-Christian things.  They are so not-Hollywood.  It is more important to be true to themselves than to make money.  Like the Gaffigans are everything we want Hollywood Christians to be.  They appeal to Catholics.  They appeal to Christians.  They appeal to pro-family values folks.  In other words, their audience is a bunch of Trumpers, but not exclusively and in fairness, they haven't courted Trumpers, it just happens that those are the people who connect to them.

Oh hell, Martha, what is your point?  Well, a few months ago, they made the decision to come out in favor of Biden/Harris.  Jim released videos blasting Trump.  Jeannie tweeted Biblical and Catholic doctrine reasons for why as a Christian you can't vote for Trump.  Y'all, two people who didn't need to say a damn thing and who know that it could very well cost them everything spoke up because it was on their hearts.  They put their safety on the line.  They put their careers on the line.  

Keep in mind, they are not known for being political.  Their fan base could have turned on them completely.  They knew they could stay silent.  They could cast their vote privately and let people just assume who they would be voting for but no they stood up for what is right.  They got hate for it.  They lost some opportunities for it.  They never backed down.  Even today, they are getting threats and hate.  They are not backing down.

So what?  I was publically supporting Biden/Harris but I was very careful to not make any statements that labeled me a "Catholic for Biden" because I knew the hate that would come my way.  But when I saw the Gaffigans stand up, I did too.  I changed my Twitter profile to include that I am a #CatholicForBiden and man did the hate wave come my way.  I'm a nobody and I got hate.  I can't imagine what they got.

Why am I singling out Jeannie?  She is a mom.  She is a Catholic mom who is truly a role model for me.  I've been reading her tweets.  She is smart and funny.  She educates without insulting.  She quotes the Bible and Catholic doctrine not just responses with feeling.  She is amazing.  I hope to one day be able to put the perfect quote that shows caring and research.

Thankfully Biden won.  I'm more hopeful than I have been in the last four years.  I hope that more people stand up and keep Biden moving in the right direction.  The work is far from over.  As we keep moving forward, I just wanted to stop for a second and acknowledge Jeannie Gaffigan for being a role model.  She stood up when she didn't have to.  She risked everything for her beliefs.  In a world that praises making money and physical beauty above all, be Jeannie.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Switching focus for a better outcome: Pahla B's 31 Day Workout Challenge

So I'm switching my workout routine and goals. If you have been reading me for a while, then you know I'm a runner and have actually completed a marathon along with a few 25k trail races.  I have been working towards running my 1st Ultramarathon, a 50K trail race, which was scheduled for the end of September.  Well, my race was canceled and is now virtual.  What I love about trail running is the trail so running it virtually does not really float my boat.  I could actually go out to the trail, it is only 45 minutes from my house and run the race but I'm not feeling that either.

I am a very goal-oriented person.  I need to be working towards something and with my 50k postponed until at least 2021, I have decided to change my focus.  Ever since my marathon, I have been experiencing perimenopausal symptoms.  My OB/GYN said that the long-distance running makes the symptoms worse but naturally I ignored him and have been adding lots of distance.

Well, I run/walked 330 miles (runs measured in Nike so even more than that hitting 10,000 steps regularly) since April 1st.  Basically running became my escape during the quarantine.  What I didn't realize until last week was how bad my perimenopause was getting.  I have been having lots of "heart flutters."  Now I'm not proud to admit this but I've been hiding it from my husband.  I don't want to go to the doctor to be told it's nothing.  I went the ER last summer thinking I was having a heart attack and my heart was in excellent shape.  Basically, I'm one of those lucky women with a hormone-induced irregular heartbeat.  It wasn't until someone in a forum posted about that being a thing that I was able to pinpoint the issues for myself.  Remember I have been ignoring my doctor's advice for almost a year.  

I'm all of 41 and I'm not a fan of the heart flutters, lack of sleep, micro-hot flashes, and the lack of weight loss.  Now before we move forward, my heart is strong and my blood pressure is great.  I did notice that my LDL cholesterol number was up and my HDL was down, which after a bit of research could be linked to my perimenopause, which the extra miles seem to be making worse.  

So where does that leave me?  I'm dropping back the miles.  I'm changing my focus.  Instead of working towards the 50k, I'm going to get strong.  No more excuses and I'm going to really diversify my workouts.  I'm starting with Pahla B's 31-day workout challenge.  I found her channel maybe 3 weeks ago on Youtube and really enjoy her approach to working out.  She has an e-book to go with the 31-day challenge and all of the videos are on Youtube.  I have the 1st one embedded in this post.  

One of the most interesting tidbits, I have found with Pahla B has been the idea of working out too much stressing your body and actually keeping you from losing weight.  Like the exact point, my doctor made last year.  The exact thing my body and labs keep pointing too: moderate working out is what I need.  As if to underscore the point, I ran a 5k in the high-noon Texas heat on Thursday and it wiped me out, like mild heat exhaustion wipe out.  I could not sleep.  My heart flutters were bad.  My stomach stayed in knots.  So Friday, I did some Pahla B active rest day yoga and then nothing this weekend.  Last night, Sunday was the best sleep I had had in a few days.  My body wanted rest instead of a 10k, which was on my plan.  So that's it.  I'm pulling back on miles and I'm going the Pahla B revolution for the next 31-days.