Dirt in your skirt blog

World’s Toughest Mudder… After The Race

Posted on December 25, 2011 by Margaret Schlachter

Most of what happened after the race is a blur to me. At some point I pulled myself out of the hiding in my sleeping bag and rejoined the world. Danny had brought coffee wicth I gingerly sipped, the nectar of the gods coffee is. I spoke with Carrie on the phone, she said I sounded in good spirits. I have no idea.

I pulled myself together enough to get on about 6 layers of clothing still suffering from shaking and not able to feel warm in the least bit. I pulled my hat on and we headed down to the finish area to watch our good friend Junyong win World’s Toughest Mudder. At some point I said some things to some people I shouldn’t have and I had no right to say. I made a friend upset with me and caused drama for no reason. For these things I am not proud and have had to live with them since the race finished. I was proud however when I watched Junyong win the race and take home the top honor. He and I have been on the same circuit of races all year and our conversations in Texas proved to me just how much he wanted it. Congrats to you Junyong!

Now that I have been home a few days and have been able to try to process what happened in the race and what it means to me and why I do this all I can say is, I had the time of my life. I loved it, I loved it all, even in the darkest moments and laying in that cot knowing it was over, I loved it. If I had to do it again and the outcome the same, I would. When people ask about what the race was like they look at me in horror, they ask me “Why do you do this?” It really comes down to loving it. I have an innate love for this and its in me all the way to my core. I can’t describe why I like it so much, but when I am racing it is as if I have done it my whole life. I have not been as happy as I was on course in a while. I love to race and I love to push myself. Nothing about these statements will make sense to anyone but a racer. The small few who have pressed to the brink and come back.

I have found in endurance racing a happiness that pure. I like pushing my body to the limits. As I sit and think about all the things I could have done or not done they really don’t matter. The race is over. Forever in the books this one will go down as a DNF for me. It’s been a hard pill to swallow but a needed one. I have so much fire in me to succeed the next time, it also has left me wanting more. I want to do more races. I want to venture into the world of Adventure Racing. I want to continue to push myself and when I do succeed the success will feel that much better. We all fail and sometimes we need to fail. Maybe I needed this DNF. It’s not the confetti glory filled finish to the season that happy endings are made out of but its real and its truth.

As my body heals and the eternal fog is seeming to lift off my brain, it’s coming into perspective for me a little. This event is done. It was what I had trained for months for and I set out to see how far I could push and do something new. I accomplished both. It took a few conversations with some people who know a lot more about this than I do to help me get to a point that I am ok with the outcome. I am ready to put this race on the shelf and keep it as a memory but not as the only memory in my life.

This was my first real endurance race, my first 24 hour race, and my first winter race. My mother reminded me on the phone the other day a year ago I won’t go out and run a mile or two and push my body that little. Now I just pushed for 24 hours. True in many ways I feel like a failure, there was no glory to this race. Only 10 people felt that glory of which 2 were women. But at the same time I didn’t fail not even close. I had the courage to start this race. I had the courage to take a chance on something in life. In the process of the last couple of months I have found I am an incredibly strong person, much stronger than I ever imagined.

Getting back to work and getting back to life is hard. People don’t tell you about the post race depression when you sign up for something like this. I am slowly getting back to life and pressing forward. I am still not sure how this race changed me, but it did. I became a racer in this race, a real racer.

So what do I do now, REST. It’s my off season. It’s time to stay focused on my job and life for a little while. Time to connect with friends who have been put on the back burner for the last couple of months. It’s time for me to do things like go to a movie, talk about something else other than races, and training. What does this mean for the Blog. It will continue there is still so much to write about in this sport and in the world of fitness. I will still workout, but its for me for a while. It’s not about prepping for a race.┬áIt’s time to balance it out again. I will start going back into training in late January or early February.