No matter how long I live in Minnesota, I will never ever get used to winter, it starts around Halloween and usually is over by around April Fool's day. Back in southern Indiana, winter would start maybe by Thanksgiving, for sure by Christmas and it would usually be over by early March and Groundhogs day had meaning, you know 2 or 6 more weeks of winter (Mid February to mid March). I only remember one winter in the 25+years we have lived in Minnesota where it ended in March (definition of ending would be no snow, sunshine, short sleeve/shorts running weather).
What used to get to me the most was the darkness and the snow together. I think I could have dealt with either one but together they would bum me out big time. But as I head into this winter season they no longer concern me, at least not as much they used to. Why because I am now a card carrying member of the trail running/ultra community. What's that got to do with anything, I have been a trail runner for years so what did ultra running teach me, well through the ultra community I know now that I can run in snow (thanks to Chippewa) and how to use a headlamp to run trails in the dark.
This summer I started thinking about doing a 50 miler and then one day a 100 miler to do either I need to run in the dark. When I first read about doing a 50 the race information said that you started in the dark and depending on your time you might finish in the dark, it kind of freaked me out. I remember reading Matt's posts this summer about heading out to Afton and running all night, I thought at the time he was nuts, today it doesn't seem that strange.
So as winter approaches, I am only concerned with will my hydration pack freeze and how long will my headlamp last when the temps go sub zero. I am starting to look at early spring races and for the first time as winter approaches I feel I am equipped to deal with it and will keep my focus to train well through it. Yes I would still prefer the summer heat and the bugs but today, darkness, cold, snow, ice no longer have the same sting.......