My guest today has experienced more hardships in life than most people his age.
He lost his wife at the age of 33 to cancer and since then he has been raising two young kids on his own.
I am looking forward to an easy run with Phil Pinti to find out how running has helped him adjust to a new normal.
Running Is The Foundation
Phil Pinti was always active growing up and played sports in both high school and college.
He mainly focused on football, wrestling, and rugby.
Running was the foundation for all of the sports that he participated in.
Once he graduated from college, he went straight into the Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps have strict physical standards that must be met.
Phil got more into running during his time serving in the military.
Running really took off for him after he first completed a half-marathon in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The race is now discontinued, but he completed that race 10 years in a row.
As Phil got more into running so did his wife and they often ran races together.
In 2016 their worlds got flipped upside down when they received devastating news.
His wife began experiencing unusual hip pain and went to multiple specialists to get an answer.
On June 1, 2016, she was diagnosed with a metastatic bone disease along with stage 4 lung cancer.
She was only 33 years old and they had a 4-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son.
They had a short 6 months from her diagnosis before she passed away.
Choosing How To Respond
A few months after his wife passed, Phil came across the Mid-Maryland 50k.
He had never done an ultra before, but he knew that he needed the time on his feet out in nature.
Work, running, and life are hard and we don’t always get to decide what is handed to us.
The journey is going to be challenging, but it’s up to us to decide how to respond.
No matter the obstacle that is in the way Phil has learned that he needs to keep moving forward.
One of the greatest challenges he has experienced since losing his wife is being a single parent.
Phil has limited hours during the day to devote to himself between work and raising his children.
Self-care is a priority.
Phil doesn’t view running as selfish, because he knows it will allow him to be a better dad.
Finding the time to run can be challenging, but it is all about what he chooses to prioritize.
Along with finding the time to train, Phil also includes races in his schedule.
He enjoys running the same races multiple times and has active streaks going in multiple races.
Running the same races year after year provides him with a tradition that he enjoys along with challenging himself.
Desert Rats is a roughly 150-mile race that goes from Colorado to Utah.
Phil has completed this race in both 2018 and 2019 and has plans to complete it again this year.
It is a multi-day stage race that takes place in the heat of the summer.
The race is unlike any other that he has run for a variety of reasons.
The race director and volunteers are dedicated to ensuring that each and every runner is taken care of.
After completing the race a couple of times, Phil has learned some tips.
- Start the first few days conservatively regarding pace.
- Address any feet issues ASAP.
- Bathing isn’t available till day 3 or 4 in a Colorado river, so carrying baby wipes and any other personal hygiene products is a must.
- Breakfast and dinner are provided, but each runner is responsible for the majority of their fuel needs during the day.
- Stay ahead of the heat by staying hydrated and using sunscreen or other protective clothing.
Through The Eyes Of A Runner
The first year that Phil ran the Desert Rats race he met two other runners that are now close friends.
The many miles they shared together forged a close friendship.
His two friends made the decision to work on filming a documentary covering the race.
The film is still a work in progress and yet to be released.
They want to explore what happens over the course of 150 miles and more importantly why anyone would choose to run the race.
There is no more authentic way to experience a race than through the eyes of a runner.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Desert Rats Film
- Desert Rats Kokopelli 150
- Mid-Maryland Trail Festival 50k and 50k Relay
- Bullseye Running
Stay connected with Phil Pinti by following along with him on Instagram.
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