Winter hit a little early this year bringing a fair share of snow and freezing rain. The winter training months are surrounded by monitoring weather reports and mustering the determination to go out and bare the elements. By far, the efforts to prepare for a marathon through the winter months is well worth the exchange. For example, the day after a cold front dropped a bit of freezing rain upon the region I ventured on out to the local trailhead only to discover the mountaintops glistening. It was a bone chilling afternoon as the wind whipped around trying to divert my endeavor, but I knew the trees would do me the favor and shield me from its bite. The mile run/climb to the top was brisk as the cold air clung to my layered body, but as I crested the mountain ridge my breath was taken away; it was not because of the steep mile high climb I just ran, but by what greeted me at the top. I suddenly found myself running through a winter wonderland as the ice hung heavy on the barren branches of baby oaks and maples. As I whisked through a section of fir trees drooping over the trail their diamond tipped limbs greeted me in a type of gleeful delight. I continued to run for miles upon the mountain ridges engulfed in the silent beauty the trails had to offer on this blistery winter day. Thus far, my journey to the Land Between the Lakes marathon has been memorable to say the least.