Adventure Race 29:00:00 
5th overall! distances mostly on, times guesses.
PROLOGUE (CP1, 1.5mi, 0800-0915)
trek up WISP mtn, WW swim relay, trek down WISP mtn
we decided our order would be Jeff (excellent at reading WW) > David (needs time to put in contacts) > me (didn't need time to change clothes after). i did the trek up already in my full-sleeve wetsuit bc it takes forever to put on and i didn't want to be rushed/sweaty legs. the trek up kinda hurt my calves but we powered thru. Jeff made up a bunch of spots on his swim leg and advised going face-first (against RD's advice) and then swim around the large eddy at end. David went and survived but did not enjoy. i went, putting in right w KP but got stuck in first eddy...stupid! went face-first and thought that was good. my strategy was to focus on breathing OUT before each drop and the breathing in would take care of itself. it did. lost my helmet in the second wave, just ripped clean off, but the WW staff let me finish, thanks!! ran down the mountain while taking wetsuit off which resulted in running like a T-rex for a few hundred meters. RAWR!! we went straight up and straight down the ski hill, prob not best route.
also i REALLY hope someone took a pic of my teammate's wetsuits bc they are amazing.
BIKE 1 (CPs 2-6, 10mi)
TAd into bike stuff and got out. spun up the KOM climb, about 90% there i hear BOOM!!! my rear tire had blown off!!! it did this the night before for the first time ever and now again. i think it has just reached the end of its useful tubeless-life. we wiped off as much orangeseal as possible, put a tube in, and carefully aired up. it held. we completed the KOM climb and got into the WISP doubletrack/trails w CP0, Odyssey, Odyssey Masters, and Rev3 Masters. we weren't especially efficient on these trails, even descending on the wrong side of a spur, but David kept making good corrections and we kept pedaling. singletrack, wheee! then we had some paved roads and on each speedy descent i was terrified that my tire would blow off again and i would die. but it held. pedaled back into the WISP TA on roads feeling good.
short run and PADDLE 1 (CP 7 and 10, 1+4.5mi)
grabbed our paddle stuff and got out. we took roads the whole way to the put-in, afterwards i keep seeing pics of a bike path shortcut, where was this?! put-in w Odyssey Masters and were slightly disheartened at the fierce wind and seeming ease at which Odyssey Masters paddled away from us. they are so strong!! we had planned to go to the trek first, and the headwind confirmed that choice. it took us about 1:15 to paddle the 4.5mi, David got soaked in front and v cold.
TREK 1 (CPs 11-15, 5mi)
went roughly CCW. David was still freezing and the most wigged out i've ever seen him. i was v concerned about the rest of the race. eventually we got up to normal speed but it was painful. took the road to CP11 and got stopped w NSPIRE by unmarked PP and an angry landowner. we chatted w him for at least 5min, trying to sooth him and get on our way. eventually he turned nice and told us about a trail back to SP land which we took. i gave him a payday bar in thanks which he seemed to appreciate. the rest of the trek went well and on the road run back we got into a big discussion about 8 and 9, the farthest out paddle CPs. Jeff and I were adamant that we go get them, especially now that the wind had died down. David was adamant that we skip. it was tense, but honest/respectful convo and eventually we all agreed to skip. as Jeff said "at the end of this race we're either going to be idiots or geniuses, but we're gonna do it as a team".
PADDLE 2 and short run (CP 16, 4.5+1mi)
we zoomed back to WISP. i was personally so angry about our decision to skip but tried really hard to put that aside and just paddle. kept reminding myself of 2013 CPT Nats when this same painful decision had a happy ending. by chance, Stephanie met us at the take-out w news that our tracker wasn't working, and Carrie on the phone. Jeff got to talk w her and i took Stephanie's timing as good cosmic sign. i was further encouraged by seeing CP0 and Odyssey back in TA, having made the same gamble.
BIKE 2 (CPs 17-27, 43mi)
it was raining. we had a longish road ride north to a cluster of 4 CPs. we were all on tow and could barely see. sucky traffic on the road but at least the shoulder was wide. we went 18-20-19-17 w CP0. CP0 snuck ahead on 17 when we picked a wrong junction, and Odyssey had an altogether different and much superior route. saw Tecnu on our way out of the trails. then another longish road ride to 22 and 21. we put lights on somewhere in here. caught CP0 in New Germany SP where we had a heck of a time figuring out the trail system for 24 and 25. not clean at all thru here but we got 'em. then 26 cleanly, then into 27/TA around 10/10:30.
TREK 2 (score-o, 10mi??)
i changed bottoms (tri shorts > 3/4 tights and rain pants) and headed out into Savage River SP. cold but warmed up quickly. first 2 CPs were delightful and i loved running that skinny ridge. then JJ "saddle" was hard, we had to attack twice, but got it. carefully descended into HH then onto DD/GG/EE/FF, not quite sure which order we took those in. my light died unexpectedly and i did about half of the trek w 35 lumens from David's back-up light. i also had a rough time w nutrition, the last third of the trek was on a sugar roller coaster w periods of high HR/dizziness and then low energy. not the best situation for team speed. jogged the road back to TA after getting CC and max points.
BIKE 3 (CPs 28-32, 25mi)
ate a whole bag of pepperoni back in TA and felt much better. added a dry LS shirt and jacket for the ride. all 3 of us had a hard time regulating temp in the early miles of this ride, as the sun rose and we climbed a large hill. on top of it the wind hit and temps dropped. brrrr! toes froze but everything else was manageable. we kept expecting top teams to pass us but they never did, victory! David allowed us to hike-a-bike a little into CP 29 which helped a ton. then 30 and 31 and back into WISP around 1000.
TREK 3 (CPs 33-36, 5mi)
back at WISP, the volunteer told us "you are currently in the lead"...ha! we knew better. went 33-35-34. i got slow and internally whiny on the way to 34, my feet hurt. thought we heard voices in the woods at 34 but never saw anyone. "ran" the road back to the finish line, i desperately wanted to cut thru golf course but Jeff thought it was PP so we went all the way around and finished at 1300 exactly.
after we finished we hung out waiting for other teams to check in. we ended up 5th after Tecnu, Bushwhacker, and Untamed cleared and DART-nuun only missed 1. overall i would sum up our race as steady. we didn't do anything hugely stupid (mistakes here and there but nothing more than 20min i think). we didn't do anything hugely amazing. but we never really locked into "race mode" where there was any maintained sense of urgency...the early skip gave us a huge cushion for the remainder of the course and we proceeded to click through the rest of the CPs at a steady but not blazing pace. being honest here - after the race i am regretting missing that sense of urgency (and i do feel responsible for a lot of it w bonk during score-o and hurty feet on last trek). even if it wouldn't have changed the results i feel like we had a better race in us. that being said, it was a much better effort than last year, AND there are a lot of teams who would kill for 5th place at nats so...trying to conjure up a sense of gratitude :)
i do want to mention something about the pre-race rankings - mayer22 said that i have made Alpine Shop a force to reckon with. while i agree that we have become more competitive in 2013 and 2014, we wouldn't be anywhere close to that without the previous 10 years of race experience that Jeff and David have with Carrie. most of our success in the last 2 years has been built on the previous 10, of which i had nothing to do with. i consistently lean on these guys' experience and we are really much better together than apart.
one more thing, HUGE shout-out to team Strong Machine, they are a wife-husband-father team from Madison, WI. we met these guys at Plot/Pedal/Paddle earlier this year and saw them again at Thunder. they are a team that "gets it" and we've chatted w them several times swapping tips and stories. they came to nats and won the Dave Boyd Spirit Award for helping another team with a bike mechanical. very proud of them!!