My alarm went off at 6am this morning and I really didn’t want to get up. During the week, I’m usually up and awake by then, however I like to catch up on my ZZZZs on the weekend and sleep in. It didn’t help that I tossed and turned all night long for some reason. Nor that my legs were still sore from yesterday’s 20 miler. Nevertheless, I dragged myself out of bed so I could get my 10 miles in before the freezing rain was supposed to arrive.

So I was obviously less than enthused to see sleet on my deck as I stepped out of my house. Sigh. I don’t mind running in cold temperatures. Rain doesn’t bother me too much either. Running in cold and rain though is far and away my least favorite. Over the years, I’ve finally learned how to dress for this weather, but it’s not something I look forward to experiencing.

I started hitting my stride at mile 3.5. I’ve got big plans for this spring and in order to reach them I need to up my training a bit. Part of it is physical, but part is mental as well. And getting out the door and running in freezing rain was good training for my mind. Just thinking about that seemed to flip my mood. I wasn’t out running because I had to; I was out in these conditions because I wanted to. Because it was fun.

The rain started picking up, but it didn’t seem to dampen my mood. If anything, it just started getting better and better. Thirty five degrees and freezing rain? Ha! Bring it on.

Then some sleet started mixing in with the occasional snowflake. Then minutes later it had completely switched over to flurries. And what was coming down was the biggest, fattest snowflakes I’ve ever seen in my life. I was like a little kid again trying to grab individual flakes as I ran along the road. It was warm enough that nothing was sticking on the ground.

What had started out as a ten mile recovery slog had turned into a joyful run through the snow. Too often we get caught up in our training and focused on the numbers – this many miles or this much time. Gotta hit the right paces or certain splits. Goodness knows I’ve been guilty of this on occasion. It doesn’t have to be this way though.

They say you should trust the process, which is true. But if you really want to go far in ultras, you need to learn the love the process. Because training can and will be a grind. And the best way to thrive with it is to find joy in the daily act of getting it done. Even if it’s in freezing rain.

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