Learning to Run Again



Moving from my home in Vermont to Utah in October was a big change for me. Not only was I leaving the east coast, leaving family, friends and moving in with my boyfriend but also was moving to where the big boys and girls play and run. If you are going to change one thing in your life, why not change everything all at once, one fell swoop. As I spent the fall trying to figure out how to drive around in a city, figure out a grid system and not get lost trying to get home from the grocery store, my time on the trails lagged a little. Every other weekend I was boarding a plane to another race locations for the first couple of months and my training was extremely limited. I found a few little trails I liked, Millcreek with it’s trees made me feel a little at home. But it wasn’t the same as the dense forests of Vermont, New Hampshire and the Adirondacks of New York.


As the winter months lagged on and the pollution made it unhealthy and unbearable to live I drove to higher elevations to find a place to run, my motivation to run greatly sagged and my winter didn’t tack on a lot of miles. It mostly turned into a break time with much of february spent in Mexico and Nicaragua. However, now it’s full blown spring in Utah and time to hit the trails again.


IMG_3218With our urban farm in full swing. We have 11 chickens (5 currently laying and 6 are just over a month old), two ponds to attend to, a greenhouse, and two outside gardens full of vegetables, herbs, and other edible leaves and such. It seems the early spring was consumed not with racing but with gardens and laying the ground work for our summer food supply. People have asked where I have been this season in the Spartan World well simply, I have been writing my first book, running my business, managing the DIYS ambassadors, competing in the CrossFit Open, Running a Trail Marathon, Race Directing two virtual challenges, starting up an OCR summer camp for women, training at Ute CrossFit three days a week, planting gardens, raising chickens, and finally finding my stride in running again.


IMG_3263The West is very different than the East in so many ways I could write a tome about it. But in my little world it’s the adjustment of what a trail run looks like. Elevation gains are big out here, and come at your quickly as you can ascend over a thousand feet in a mile only to see there is another peak a couple thousand feet higher. Trails are more wide open and ridge line running is becoming more comfortable. I am use to my tightly knit woods where I can only see a few feet in front of me and there never seems to be any sunlight. Not out here! Even the wooded trails open to wide outlooks and seem less dense.


IMG_3268On Sunday I went out for a long run, four hours to be exact and in that time I covered about sixteen miles and over 4,000ft of elevation gain. I was shocked when loaded up the Garmin after I finished the run. It didn’t seem like that much when I was doing it, maybe I am getting more use to it out here or my mind is warping to what elevation means. With some long and big races on the horizon either way some big days only help in the long run. Next time I just need to remember to really apply the sunscreen, the UV’s are more powerful as well here!

Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
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