Dirt in your skirt blog

Revisiting the Past – A Look Back

Posted on October 15, 2013 by Margaret Schlachter

First Spartan Race – 2010

Recently looking through old posts, and realizing the amount of information in last posts, I was overwhelmed and at the same time a bit nostalgic as I came across this particular post, Day 100…Fresh Air and it give me pause to look back on the last couple of year. Many things have changed since that post in 2011 but still look back at the last couple of years and am surprised at what I consider a norm now and what then what considered extraordinary.

From the post…

“Many of my friends have heard this story to the point they will probably say, really she is telling this again, but for those of you who just read this each day here are a few insights as to where I was before I started this journey 100 days ago.

Training 2011

Training 2011

Just Over 100 Days Ago
I thought I was in shape
2010 Obstacle Race Season finished all races in the top 25% 
2-4 miles was an Average Run
6 Miles Seemed Like a Long Run
8 Miles Seemed Really Long
10 – 15 Push-ups I needed a break
Any workout over an hour seemed extremely long
My biggest fear DNF’ing Tough Mudder VT (10 mile race)
Scared I would DNF the Spartan BEAST
I thought people who did marathons and ultra marathons were crazy

Questioning why I signed up for World’s Toughest Mudder…

I know I am in shape – probably the best of my life – But it’s always a work in progress
2011 Obstacle Race Season – all races to date I have finished in the top 5% and not out of top 10. I own a Spartan Sword, Warrior Dash mini helmet, and have a GORUCK Patch. 
2 – 4 Miles is a warm up
13+ miles is a longer run
Anything 20 or 30 miles is a Really Long Run
Longest run to date 33.5 Miles
Push-up and Burpees I can do those…
An hour workout is a short day
Workouts that are over 8 hours are long
My biggest fear – Burning myself out
There is no such thing as crazy – it’s all your personal reality
Looking forward to World’s Toughest Mudder
Looking forward to 2012 Death Race…”

Post WTM 2011

Post WTM 2011

When I started my journey from a past athlete turned coach back into an athlete again it was a long hard road with many hours dedicated to the change. At the time I threw my life completely out of balance and went full board into fitness. I deprived myself of rest at times in order to reach new goals. It was a time of imbalance but exactly what was needed to kick myself out of the post-college life slump and back into the world of fitness. Looking back now I can say I was out of balance most if not all of the first year back into training, but it was needed. I did work myself to burnout, and spent most of the beginning of 2012 trying to regain a drive to train.

GoRuck 2011

GoRuck 2011

Looking back at my brief history of training and competing it’s been a steep climb up and one of which will eventually, if it already hasn’t level out, and that is part of the process. it takes time to recognize these ups and downs. 2012 brought along a huge set of successes, my second ultra marathon finish, as well as over 25 Spartan Races where finishing in the top 5 and on the podium became a norm. I was able to travel a ton, meet incredible people and continue to push what I thought was possible. It was the first time in my athletic history I had seen such successes. As a younger athlete in high school and college, I was always average,  never at the time, always fighting just to be as good as everyone around me. This fear of not being good enough has driven me to keep pushing as I have reentered the world of sport. At times it can be a good fuel and at others a huge hinder to future successes. It’s a fine time to push when you feel your best is never good enough.

Post-Race Fun 2012

Post-Race Fun 2012

In truth this year has been one of the hardest of my athletic life, never had I suffered an injury that put me out for so long. Dealing with the fine line of what I can or can’t do is difficult. Knowing my brain wants to go but my body isn’t ready is maddening. Watching those around you heading out on adventures as you sit home and do only a fraction of what you did before. The recovery process of having to start over again feeling like you are back to zero and past training lost. Feeling like it’s stupid months later to still have pain every time you want to do something. Having every conversation start out with how is your recovery. I just want to move on from this part, get back in the woods, train, then come back and race again, pain free.

Post Ultra Beast DNF 2013

Post Ultra Beast DNF 2013


But taking the time today to look back at the last couple of years here, ready to move on from this holding pattern of time, it truly does amaze me all the things I have done and how outlooks have changed…

2013 Self Assessment Update

2013 Peak Ultra 100 Attempt

2013 Peak Ultra 100 Attempt

– I’ve been in better shape but I have been in much worse.

– 2013 has been a season riddled with DNF’s, injury, and frustration. But this has been part of the process. I put myself out there and sometimes the best is not good enough.

– I have lots of medals, swords, patches and other crap. But those aren’t the things that count. It’s the memories from those events I hold and care about. Medals are cool but I stopped racing for them a while ago.

– It takes me miles to warm-up. The first 2-4 miles still suck most days, then it gets fun.

– Long runs are just long runs, whatever it is that day.

– Longest Run to date, over 60+ miles in an attempt at my first 100 miler

– Longest Race to date, over 25 hours

– I can do most exercises, those that I can’t I practice until I can

– Injuries happen and you have to learn to listen to your body

– Biggest Fear – Not living up to my own expectations

– Normal? – What is normal? It’s all about your place and perspective on life

– Looking forward to one last shot at World’s Toughest Mudder 2013 (some things don’t change)

Hunter Gatherer 50K - 2013

Hunter Gatherer 50K – 2013

Finally, I have learned it’s about leading an authentic life. People will push you to do things, people will want you to follow the latest trends, they want you to join them. We live in a world of oneupmanship and this has proliferated into the world of social media. I have learned over the last couple of years if you are doing a workout because you think it’s “badass” you are probably not doing it for the right reasons. Exercise and fitness should enhance your life, make you happy, and sometimes lead to greater understandings of the world around you. You have to first do it for yourself, find the joy within you. If you find yourself following the crowd, chasing a points system, chasing a podium finish, actually chasing anything but your own desire it might be time to readjust.


I am 100% sure I will read this in another year or two and laugh at my old thoughts, my old fears and wants as I did at the old post. But it’s our past, it was once our present and was where we were at the time. Each experience after the fact building on another to lead us to our present state. So this is my present state, another 50K this weekend in preparation for one last shot at World’s Toughest Mudder, this time instead of an individual I am with a team, with great friends and taking it one through a new set of lenses.

Post Hunter Gatherer Beer Mile - Because You Only Life Once

Post Hunter Gatherer Beer Mile – Because You Only Life Once


Mexico 2013

Mexico 2013