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Travel Day to St. George, Utah


Our travel day started early as we woke up at 4:10am and left for the Greenville airport at 4:45am. It was incredibly hard to say good-bye to our furry feline crew (Campy is with my mom) but we know they will be in great loving hands while we are away. 

The check-in process was pretty smooth and we were at our gate around 5:50am for our 6:35am flight to Atlanta. 

A bit of a back story on our trip....

Booking this trip was a bit of a logistical puzzle as we are not just traveling to St. George for the IM 70.3 World Championship but we are also spending time in Salt Lake City, Utah (Ogden - Snow Basin) the week after because Karel will be participating in the Xterra USA Championship. After working through all different types of flying scenarios/options, the most affordable (and stress-free) option was to book two one-way tickets on Delta. Our first trip was GSP to ATL to Salt Lake City to St. George. Then on the way home, we go Salt Lake City to ATL to GSP. 

I also had to book two different rental cars (one for while we are in St. George and one to pick up in St. George and to return in Salt Lake City). I also booked two Airbnb's. Karel used Tri Bike Transport for his tri bike (dropped off in Charlotte the week before we left) so that he doesn't have to bring two bikes with him for the entire trip. Instead, he flew with his mountain bike. 

I do enjoy booking our trips and all the logistics that come with our race-cations but this trip is sure to be the most logistically difficult trip I've ever had to book....but it'll all be worth it! Because I booked a one-way to St. George, the price difference for First Class vs. Economy was not that much so I treated us to a bit of an upgrade.....and wow, it was a treat to be able to lay down in our pods for our 3.5 hour trip. We were soaking up every minute of it - we didn't even care that we sat on the tarmac for over 30 minutes waiting to lift off. We both watched one movie and Karel started a second movie while I took a needed nap. 

We arrived in Salt Lake City and waited about an hour to board our last flight. There were some delays for our tiny aircraft to take off but after waiting almost an hour, we finally left Salt Lake City and in less than an hour we arrived in St. George. 

Overall, everything went smoothly and most importantly, all of our luggage arrived in St. George - including our bikes! This is my third time traveling to St. George for a triathlon (4th for Karel) but we usually fly into Las Vegas. Although the 2-hour drive from Vegas to St. George is incredibly beautiful (well the last hour), the flight from Salt Lake City to St. George was spectacular. 

When we arrived to St. George, we had a short walk to the luggage and rental car area. I was expecting some issues with our rental car as all of the cars are sold out in St. George (and very expensive). I reserved a minivan but we ended up with a truck. Oh well, at least we had something for us, our luggage and our house mates Joe, Ashley and Zach. 

It was nearing 4pm when we left the airport and we decided to make a stop at the grocery store (Harmon's) in route to our Airbnb in Washington, Utah. Harmon's is a bit expensive (kinda like Whole Foods) but they have a wide variety of items - and it was the closest grocery on our way to the Airbnb. We loaded up on essentials and then made the rest of the drive to our Airbnb. 

I specifically selected our Airbnb at Sienna Hills in Washington, Utah for a few reasons. First off, because it was central to both the race venue downtown and Sand Hallow State Park (Swim/T1/Bike start) and easy to get on and off the interstate. We can also safely bike from our place to the bike course (we are right on the bike course). There are also several running paths/trails for us to run on from our community. Lastly, and most importantly, the community has a lap pool. I figured with 4000 athletes in town for the race, swimming pools would be crowded and I wanted a place to swim without any hassle. Our athlete Kaley met us at our place (she stayed with us just one night until her Airbnb was ready on Tuesday) and we were anxious to get in the water (we both looooove to swim). 

After a long day of traveling, it was nearing 6:30pm when we got to the pool (which was 8:30pm EST). Exhausted and tired, it felt so good to be weightless and to move some blood. The water was warm but the salt water provided a relaxing feeling as we swam for ~1600 yards. Karel did his own thing and Kaley and I did a few different sets - kinda making stuff up as we went along. It felt a bit like swimming at altitude at first as we were both pretty tired but the swim felt good and it was nice to move the body. 

After the swim we ate a bit more, Karel assembled the bikes and then nearing 9:30pm local time (11:30pm EST) it was time for bed. Unfortunately, our Airbnb Air Conditioner broke and we didn't realize it while we were out swimming so we had a very uncomfortable night of sleep as it was ~80 degrees in our Airbnb. Thankfully, the AC is now fixed and we can cool off from the 90+ degree desert heat outside. 

Overall I am feeling much better after struggling with Covid sickness from the 1st-3rd. It's been almost 2 weeks since I first experienced my worst symptoms and my coughing has mostly gone away (just a little to clear my throat), my sinuses are much better and my taste/smell is slowly coming back. I'm still tired but that could also be due to taper and everything else going on right now. Thankfully, I feel like my health is in a good place that I can race on Saturday and give it me best effort on what will be an extremely challenging course.