I thought it to be very fitting that my return to everyday running yesterday was the first outing of the season in which I was running in snow and serious winter like conditions. The next 4 months for me will be very focused on preparing for and hopefully completing The Iditarod Trail Invitational.
I signed up for this race in April and it has been mostly out of my mind since then. There have been numerous times this summer when I doubted whether I actually wanted to try this one again. Yesterday though, as soon as I got up into the serious snow and wind that I ran up into I was more excited than ever for the coming winter running season, and attempting one of the most extreme and challenging winter races in the world. There's something about running in extreme winter conditions that is somehow really relaxing and really satisfying.
At the end of my run yesterday we had a half mile long stretch of straight road, heading directly into a 30 mph wind. You could see the trailhead where our car was at the very end of the straight away and it felt like it was going to take forever to get there. Everything about it pretty much sucked, and yet it was one of the most enjoyable moments I've running I've had in a long time. This brief moment was all I needed to be certain I am making the right choice in ramming my head against the wall of the ITI for a third time.