My kids are sick. Instead of sleeping, I listened to the wind beat at our house and plaster our windows with wet, slushy snow. At 4 a.m. when my alarm went off I made the unfortunate decision to turn it off hoping the wind would subside and I could get my 15 miler in later. The winter storm warning definately intimidated me this time but I hoped the weather would improve over the weekend. It didn't. I vowed to do my weekend long run the next day at 3:00 p.m. no matter what. So many things about this run were just plain torturous! It took me 25 minutes to run the first two miles into the 40 mile and hour winds, I'm not used to running in the day time and I could taste my lunch (yummy as it was three hour before) the whole way, I kept slipping on the ice in spite of the spikes I was wearing, and when I changed direction the crosswind covered the roads and me with three foot drifts. I kept my head down and dwelled on my misery, I helped a man dig his car out of his own driveway, and I ran much slower than I hoped, my "short-cut" that I took to avoid running directly into the wind resulted in 1/2 mile trek through knee deep snow. My clothes were drenched with snow and sweat and my face was covered with ice and tears but as I crested the hill I saw two things that remind me why I keep doing this to myself....The most beautiful sunset on the horizon with just enough light to see the landscape created by God who has also given me the strength to explore it in ways so many can't and the headlights of a car with my family inside to rescue me and take away the chill. Oh, how I love running and being in the world and though this particular 15 miler was the most mentally challenging ever experienced, it gave me the courage to get up and try again.