Prior to World’s Toughest Mudder I read A LOT of articles about what to expect and gear and pretty much everything under the sun. I read about gear, about ways to combat the mental aspect, about more gear, about taper, about gear, about eating, about gear, about nutrition, and about more gear.
What I didn’t read about was what to expect POST-WTM. And BOY is there a lot.
So I’ve compiled a list of the things that stuck out to me after the event AND the things that fellow WTMer’s told me when I asked.
First, the physical:
- Peeling skin. I have NEVER seen as many pictures of peeling fingers as I did in the WTM Facebook group in the weeks after the event. Doing some research, the peeling could be a combination of stuff but what I think is the most likely is that the combination of the water and frost-nip (think frost-bite’s little sister).
- Chills and body temperature regulation. From what I guess this is because many participants (myself included) dealt with some level of hypothermia this year. Be prepared to wear a sweatshirt for weeks.
- Numbness. I didn’t realize it at first, but my toes were numb for a week at least after the event. This, as well as finger numbness, seemed to be common as well for others.
- Lost toenails. Ironically, I didn’t lose any toenails after WTM. It’s ironic because I lost SO MANY TOENAILS after regular events.
- Weightloss. I believe that this is both surprising and unsurprising. I read a post that said, “World’s is an eating event with some running.” I agree 100%. Even with the thousands of calories I consumed, I lost weight.
- Mudder Flu. Obviously, the combination of cold temperatures, water/mud, and no rest, sickness is likely. And Mudder Flu is common even during the regular season, so if you make it through WTM without succumbing to this sickness, WOW!
- Sleep issues. While I personally didn’t have any issues with sleeping, it seems to be pretty common.
And the mental:
- Post-race Depression. I had actually NEVER heard of this until after my first WTM. When I started to feel depressed post-event, I started doing some research. A lot of the information I found mentioned that many athletes spend MONTHS training for and focused on an event and their brains see that as what they are there for. Once that event is over, their brain sees it as if there is nothing left for them. And then depression sets in.
- Anger/Upset at themselves. As a first-timer, I was told many things about goals and what to expect of myself. Some people told me to set high goals while some told me to have no goal at all. I followed the advice of a third person: Have goals but also have backup goals. While I didn’t reach goal A or goal B, I did reach goal C and it helped with how I felt at the end of the race. But, understandably, there is a lot of anger/upset when it comes to how a race goes.
- Emotional rollercoaster. I cried when I crossed the finish line at 8:04 on Sunday morning. I cried while walking from Mudderhorn to that finish line. I laughed as well. I was feeling all the feelings. And after the event, I was STILL feeling all the feelings.
- Missing people. I was at several event weekends in 2018 (NOLA, Central Texas, Michigan, Nashville, Central Florida, Atlanta, Obstacle Innovation Lab, and WTM). After seeing so many of my fellow Mudders, many of whom I consider friends, for so many weekends in a row, it was weird to know that WTM was it until next season.
- Race shopping spree. Oh, so you just finished one of the hardest things you’ve ever done in your life? What about next year? Do you want to do this race? What about this one? DO ALL THE RACES!
Was there something you experienced after WTM that you think should have made the list? Share it here for others to see.