Austin Rattler 33k Trail Race Recap

I miss everything about this past weekend!

First and foremost, Reveille Peak Ranch is stunning and I’m so grateful that we had the opportunity to spend the weekend supporting the MTB athletes Saturday, and racing on Sunday!

I’m also super lucky that I have an amazing cheerleader and fiancé that is willing to get up at the crack of dawn and sit patiently (she only had one temper tantrum while I was running. Her words. Lol!) until I cross that finish line! And as we know, I run often so she deserves a gold star!

We so lucked out with Sunday’s weather as it couldn’t have been more perfect. I was a little concerned that I was a little underdressed at the start as it was about 42 so I had my handy hand warmers (info under MY GEAR). Those hand warmers lasted about 10 minutes before I chunked them at the start as I knew it was going to be too warm for them and I also know how warm I get as soon as I’m about 5 minutes into any run.

I wore my GU wrap around my wrist and loved it as I was able to wipe my nose and mouth throughout the race… also wiped down the gallon of salt I had all over me before it was all said and done.

First of all, my Salomon Hydration Vest was the best running purchase I’ve ever made outside of running shoes and GU. I never felt it bounce, I had zero chafe (outside of a bit from the tank top rubbing under my arms. I forgot this one did that), the liquid was easy to drink, all product was easy to access…. I swear by this thing! I will never go out in the heat for long runs (or cold runs) without it!

The 33k started at 9am so it was fully light out and we got to see a couple of the super speedy 66k runners heading out to their second lap as we were about to take off! I bow down to anyone that not only ran the 33k, but the 66k or 100k. Holy smokes!

Let me start out by saying that I was prepared for the elevation, but holy cow… I had no idea what was headed my way!

As I mentioned IN THIS POST my mantra for the day was to Move with purpose and have no regrets. I lived by that for the entire race and boy did it make a difference! I power hiked through the super steep climbs (and there were many) and ran anything flat, semi hilly and downhill and tried to make up a bit of time.

My phone died at Mile 5 or 6 as well as my AirPod so I listened to nature. Was the best thing that could’ve happened, but I’m glad I got several pictures before that happened!

As you can see above, it was insane. Usually my weakness is mental during any long run or race, and I really thought I’d get in my head for sure during this one due to the difficulty. However, there was so much up and down, billions of rocks, sticks and branches… mud from the day before and uneven land to watch for literally for each step. I was mentally entertained the entire time!

So, instead of focusing on the tough run, I was paying attention to placing each foot carefully as I ran so I didn’t trip or sprain my ankle. There were several times I tripped but caught myself and/or almost busted my butt.

I’ll be honest, during my best run ever…. I’ve never had the first 10 miles fly by like they did Sunday morning. I was literally sad it was almost half over!

The first 4 or 5 miles there were groups close together, but by the first water stop I couldn’t see anyone (as some had sped up and many had slowed)…. right until I stopped to fill up my water and saw another female filling hers. So, I poured quickly and ran ahead, with the goal to not get caught!

The hills and trails got steeper and steeper and I was surprised at how well I was holding up and how much I was loving it!

The halfway point had more liquids and some snacks, but I just filled and ran as I had just caught my second female who looked about my age. I wanted to stay ahead 🙂

My fuel:

Nanohydr8 before the start after a Clif Bar and yogurt for breakfast. Sipped on water and GU Roctane throughout as I had a bottle of each in my vest. Mile 5 I had a GU with another Nanohydr8 at mile 11. I had a delicious Coconut GU Stroop Wafel at mile 16 and another GU shortly after while continuing to sip! It was perfect.

They had another unmanned water/roctane station about mile 16 which was perfect.

I’ve never seen such beauty and I got totally lost in it… in a good way! It was perfectly marked and I never got turned around or felt like I was possibly going in the wrong direction.

There were a few patches of stream water we had to run through, and it actually felt kind of nice as it was cold and feet dried quickly in the heat.

Speaking of heat, this idiot didn’t wear sunscreen. You can literally see where my hydration was on my back and shoulders from the sweet sunburn I got, as well as the GU tattoo I wore! Rookie. Move.

Miles 15-20 were pretty freaking hilly, and my back was really starting to hurt at this point. I stopped a few times and stretched it out which helped for a bit.

There were a lot of single speed tracks, but I was too busy trying not to sprain my ankles or trip on something while hauling butt so I didn’t get pictures of those for the most part 🙂

When I rounded mile 20, I heard the announcers naming athletes as they were crossing the finish line from across the lake. I got super excited and it lit a fire under me for the remainder of the race!

Lynn captured some cool pictures as I was sprinting to the finish line. I was so happy to see her and felt so good as the small crowd cheered me on as I took my last few strides.

I fist pumped the air as I realized I was about to finish my first true trail run, and a freaking difficult one at that! I felt great yet knew I pushed myself during the whole 33k. I literally enjoyed every step and mentally and physically felt better than I ever could’ve hoped for! I already couldn’t wait to do it again and I hadn’t even crossed yet!

Even cooler was when I was made aware that I placed third in my age group! I was really really hoping to podium so this was icing on the cake!

There are so many differences between road and trail racing, and I’ll discuss those tomorrow on a super fun post 🙂 Check out the elevation chart from the race! 2000 feet gained. No big deal. Ha

Once I sat, I relished in the moment and then we shared a big ol’ plate of Texas BBQ!

The medal was awesome as were the race shirts… Lynn bought me a few different ones to remember the event as well. Isn’t she sweet?! I’ll share pictures as I wear them.

Can you see the white salt that stayed on the back part of my vest after the run?! I was covered!

After the race we headed home and talked about how much fun the weekend was and how we got to meet some incredible people! I will SO be running this again next year and I don’t know how any trail run will top this. Yes, I do want to do more! However, 5ks and half marathon speed is next up on my list after the 50 miler in 2.5 weeks!

You only live once!

Did I mention I loved this race?

A few more days of complete rest is on my agenda as I hurt! The bottoms of my feet are even sore from running on top of rocks, etc for hours! Quads are talking to me often throughout the day, but I feel pretty good! Today was probably the worst of it and I should be good to go for a few miles this weekend! Going to be smart and recover so I can be 100% for 50! I’m excited, but I’ll miss the trails 🙂 Won’t have/haven’t had time for much speed work, so the 50 miler will be one I’m more less aiming to complete and feel good about… with a time goal that isn’t crazy.

See ya at the start line!

Questions

Do you prefer trails or road running

What were you up to this past weekend

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One thought on “Austin Rattler 33k Trail Race Recap

  1. you weren’t kidding- this terrain is INTENSE! But yes, all so beautiful! When there is a beautiful race it makes it all so worth it. I have done a couple brutal coastal runs here, seriously some halves that are harder than full marathons because of the mountains- but the beauty was soo invigorating and made it all worth it! Thanks for sharing, Taushah!

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