Friday March 27th: Traveling to Kona Hawaii

6am Rise in Shine

Meeting up with the peeps on the team flight.

Meeting up with the peeps on the team flight.

Donella on 2 hours of sleep.

Donella on 2 hours of sleep.

Friday morning we woke up at the break of dawn and headed of to our friends, Jenn and Eric’s place, they kindly took us to San Jose airport and sent us off on our journey. Thanks guys! When we  arrived at the terminal we met up with about thirty members of the team including our coach. In case any of our baggage  got lost, it was encouraged that we carry all of our tri gear as our carry on. I never knew that carrying all of the tri gear could be so heavy. I think I may have gotten armpit burn from the heaviness of my back pack.

“Stand By” for a Connecting Flight

We waited "standy by" trying to catch an earlier flight.

We waited "standy by" trying to catch an earlier flight.

As a team, we all flew together from San Jose to Honolulu, but in Honolulu some of us were on different connecting flights from Honolulu to Kona. Me and Tony’s connecting flight arrived waaaaaaaaay later and  was not scheduled to land until after 4pm.  Our team bike pick up was at 4:30pm at the Hilton Waikoloa Hotel (20 miles from the airport) and we were concerned that we wouldn’t make it from Kona airport (after getting our luggage from baggage claim, lag time, pick up our rental car etc)  in time to meet the pick up and test out our bikes. We had not been on the saddle  since drop off 2 weeks ago, so it was important to put on the pedals and test out the bikes.

We tried to get the same flight as most of the team.

We tried to get the same flight as most of the team.

Hawaiian Airlines had three earlier flights that we were hoping to get on, Tony and I waited on stand by for each flight watching fellow members take off one by one and waving good bye to us. After chumming up with the airline rep, she got us on an earlier flight with our teammates. Yay!

Rushing To Hilton Waikiloa

Amidst the lava desert was the lush resort.

Amidst the lava desert was the lush resort.

As soon as we arrived at Kona Airport we were informed that since our checked in baggage was originally scheduled to arrive on a later flight, we would most likely not have our luggage. Thankfully, we had out triathlon gear in our carry on.  After a few minutes of waiting at the airline counter….we discovered that our baggage did make it! Hip hip hooray! We rushed to Hertz, picked up the rental and off we were driving thru the windy lava fields of Hawaii. Amidst the dark lava desert sit the beautifully manicured Waikoloa resort.

Rushing to Pick Up our Bikes

We made it just in time for bike pick up.

We made it just in time for bike pick up.

By the time we arrived our team was already in the lobby all geared up to pick up and ride their bikes. Without having a chance to check in an go to our room, we hurryingly, left our luggage with baggage check, grabbed our short shorts (yes tighty biker shorts) bike shoes, helmet, pedals, gloves and ran to the lobby restroom to get dressed.  Then we rushed to bike pick up where our coaches and the rest of our team were already setting up their bikes. Our coaches helped us reattach our pedals (we had to removed them for cargo shipping) and re pump our tires and  just get our bikes in working order.

Road Rash

Shortly before my road rash.

Shortly before my road rash.

Once our bikes were set we headed towards the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway (Queen K). The Queen K is actually part of the same road course used during The Hawaii Ironman which consists of a 2.4 miles swim 112 miles in the Hawaiian lava desert 26.2 miles marathon run. But before we headed to the Queen K,  I was obviously preoccupied with to waving at people instead of the road b/k  as I was about to stop and socialize, I forgot I was still clipped…..and gave everyone a nice little show of me squirming to get unclipped and  falling off my bike.  Martin, one of our friends and mentors is this really tall and big guy, kindly pulled me up just like rag doll…up from the hot asphalt. Thankfully, nothing broken, just dirty scraped bloody knees…not cute, but not life threatening either. I jumped back on the saddle and on continued with everyone onto the Queen K Hwy .  As we were riding in the hot wind, I was imagining how all of the lava dirt blowing into my wound and infecting my bloody scraped knee…thank goodness I had bacterial wipes in my bike bag hanging behind my seat post.

Hot Windy Lava Desert

Queen K highway

Queen K highway

En route to the Queen K Hwy  Martin gave us a little tour of where the swim start and transition area would be. It gave us and idea of how far everything was from each other. On the Queen K, we biked thru gusts of 40mph winds. This was something that none of us had trained for. I had to bike diagonally so that he wind wouldn’t push me sideways on my bike. What was short 10 bike ride felt like a hot 30 minute spin class. Afterward the test ride, we headed back to the comfy air conditioned hotel. After a long day of traveling and rushing from one place to another we finally go to check into our room.

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate

water and gatorade

water and gatorade

Once we settled into our room, we took the shuttle to the local resort grocery at Queen’s Marketplace and  shopped for bottles  of water…and of course a lil Hawaiian li hin sour gummy candy. The magical word for the past week has been hydrate hydrate hydrate. Coach Chris mentioned that we should be hydrating throughout the  entire week. He informed us that you cannot drink alot in one day in order to make up for not hydrating throught the week.  Since it was the only grocery store in the area, we ran into many teammates stocking up on the precious bottles of water.

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