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Loving a Trail Runner!

July 18, 2011

This post was written by my lovely wife. I just had to share.

Running has always been a part of our live’s. I began running with my dad when I was probably 8 yrs old. Pete trained and ran several marathons in college building a foundation to his love of the sport today. When we met, it was a passion we continued together eventually training and running my first marathon three years ago. Since moving to Utah, Pete has discovered a whole new world of trail running. The endless peaks and paths along the Wasatch mountain range provide everything and anything a trail runner might begin to dream of. Pete soon found his love for running taking hold of his heart for the outdoors and the mountains. The world became his as he combined these two passions together. Before I knew it, the man I fell in love with was waking before dawn to hit the trails for hours on most warm Saturday and/or Sunday mornings. But as the distances began to grow, so were the hours Pete needed to pound the dirt; and in return came a growing anxiety digging deeper into my heart. Time had passed, and I soon had to begin saying goodbye to the securities I held within my box of outdoor activities. If he wasn’t ultra running 20+ trail miles on a summer morning, he was skiing the back mountains of the serene Wasatch on a winter evening. I began envisioning my life alone lost to a man falling off a cliff, running into a wild animal, crashing under an avalanche, or simply getting lost in endless trails. There have been many many times when I didn’t receive that phone call or Pete miss calculated his return time by hours leaving me in question as to if he was ok. There have been several times when he has walked in the door with bleeding knees, large bruises, or twisted ankles, thanking God his injuries weren’t worse. He plans extreme outdoor vacations for himself, and even our family trips include several hours of exploring a new trerrain of trails. I’d like to say,with increasing age my life will be getting a little less stressful, but with each year the miles seem to have increased. Three years ago, he ran 30 miles for his thirtieth birthday. Last year, he completed over thirty miles, and this year he is trailing for a 100 miler in September. And although Pete is naturally in fantastic condition, the distance doesn’t come without a price of training. When most of us will be going to bed tonight, Pete will be hitting the trails for a 30 mile training run, lasting through the night. I am so thankful, I don’t have to worry about my husband being overseas at war or working a high-profile job, but I do toss and turn some nights wondering if he is going to slip on some rocks and tumble to his death on a cliff, or if that beautiful moose you might see during the day, might bump into him on the trails at night. I worry about his heart giving way after hours of constant stress placed on his body, or passing out from heart stroke, electrolight imbalance, or even just making a wrong turn and sliding down glacers like his run last weekend. Each time I see him drive away, I have to know this could be the case. And more often than not, there is no one to contact or no way to reach him, as many roads don’t reach these remote areas, leaving me with nothing to do but pray. Just recently, we invested in a smartphone which has a program called Endomondo. This GPS based program allows Pete to carry his phone, and me to track him at home on my computer. It’s not a perfect system, I can’t hear his voice or see his thoughts, but it would alarm me if he had stopped running for an extended period of time.

As I look out my window tonight, I know my husband is out there doing what he loves.  There are many days I wish I had married a coach potato, and other days I am so thankful he has found something he can be passionate about. With all the books out about running, trail running, and ultrarunning, I wish I could find one on how to love the outdoor enthusiast. It is not an easy task, and I often remind myself to hold strong; for this race is not yet over.

http://thestoughtons.wordpress.com/

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2011 7:32 AM

    Pete, You have a very good and supportive loving wife 😀
    she has a very inspiring write ups.

    • pwstoughton permalink*
      August 10, 2011 5:42 PM

      Thanks so much. Yeah, I am always happy to come home to her and support her in her running also. She is an inspiration to me, that is for sure.

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