Each week we interview members of our community to learn how the Corona Virus pandemic has impacted their lives, and how they are adapting in these challenging times. Our ‘Quarantine Interviewees’ are healthcare workers, small business owners, parents, service industry employees, and, of course, runners. We hope that by sharing the stories of our neighbors, we can find inspiration, solidarity, and connection as a community in the coming weeks and months.

For the third installment of the series we catch up with Larry Peterman. Larry works as a flight nurse with Life Flight Network and also in the St. Pats Hospital ER. He is an avid outdoorsman, a father of two, husband, and, if you have ever met him you would agree, one of the most positive people we know. Read on to learn more about how Larry is adapting at work, getting outside, and connecting with others during this time.

Thanks for joining the quarantine Q&A! First off, how long have you lived in Missoula?

Since 1972, when I left Ohio on my 18th birthday. My dad helped me drive out with all my stuff and I started that fall at the U of M.

Are you training for an upcoming race? If so, which one? Has it been canceled or postponed?

Yes, I’m hoping that the Rut will not be cancelled and that I can do the VK again. I’m looking forward to taking a break from the 28K!

Amidst these uncertain times, what challenges are you facing and how are you maintaining motivation?

This one is easy for me because I enjoy my routine trail runs so much that I remain pretty motivated to get out even if some races get cancelled or postponed. I enjoy seeing everyone at the races, and the entire race atmosphere, but my training goals are not new PR’s but rather consistency and trying to stay injury free.

Are you doing workouts at home? If so, how are you getting creative?

Yes, I’m doing my standard 30 minutes of core/push-ups/pull-ups/foam roller. And since I hate going to the gym I am being creative and using the shutdown as my reason for not going.

What’s been the biggest challenge to maintaining your running during this time?

Like everyone else, I want to comply with the new guidance for trail etiquette and this presents many new and sometimes humorous challenges. For example:  Should I pet the other runner’s friendly dog? How far off the trail should I get? Upwind/downwind? Should I say hi or are they trying to hold their breath?

How are you investing in your mental health these days?

I have been enjoying some of the best fishing in years lately.

As a health care worker, what are some of the largest ways that the COVID crisis has changed your work life in recent weeks?

I am an RN and I work full time at Life Flight Network and part time at St Pat’s ER. So much has changed. Quite a few patients have some combination of COVID symptoms; fever, cough, shortness of breath or travel history. This requires us to put on full PPE – gown, gloves, mask, and eye protection, while we treat them. There are lots of new changes to procedures both in the helicopter and in the ER to keep ourselves and the other patients safe. I am extremely proud of my coworkers at both Life Flight and St Pat’s . There are changes and new information almost every day and yet people are keeping up with it and maintaining good attitudes.

Are there any silver linings or positive moments you have experienced due to the COVID crises you would like to share?

Usually, finding out you have tested positive for the flu is bad news. Now, we can say, “I have great news, you have influenza A” (not COVID). As of April 3rd, about 95% of those with symptoms who were tested for COVID in Montana were negative. I think we are fortunate to live in Montana where the virus seems to be arriving later and our Governor took action early to call for social distancing.  By the way, did you know Governor Bullock is a trail runner? I knew he was a good person when he went around me at the Prickly Pear 12K a few years ago and nicely said, “Good Job!”

Where are you finding inspiration right now? (books, music, podcasts, people, etc.)

I’m really fortunate to have a healthy family, work that I enjoy, great local trails, and a pug.

What does the Missoula running community mean to you in a time like this?

While it is always fun to see someone I know while out running, it is even better now. It is great to visit even if standing farther apart than usual. And there even seems to be a common bond now with people I do not know as we both swing wide to keep our distance. We’ll be OK. We will high five again!

We enjoyed getting to hear from Larry and hope you did too! If you think this interview would add value to someone in your life, please consider forwarding this email to them.

Also, if you are enjoying the Quarantine Q&A series, or have a question you would like us to ask our interviewees, let us know! Email Mike@runnersedgemt.com.