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Debbie's Naughty Forties European Adventure

Welcome to Debbie's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. If I have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people I will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Location: Cairns, Australia

Hi All
Here I am in sunny Cairns where it is expected to be a balmy 26 degs later, however it is quite cool and I actually have a light jacket on. Not looking forward to the cold rainy day expected upon my return to Brisbane later today. I'm tired and now can't wait to get home to have a nice warm shower and sleep in my own bed. Passed through customs and quarantine with no problems. They are a friendly bunch up here in Cairns! Again, I'm sitting in the Qantas Club Lounge. It's worth every cents to pay to be in the Qantas Club. It's very handy indeed. My little sister, Rosslyne is picking me up from the airport so we can go and watch my niece Jacinta and nephew Ryan compete at the Qld School Athletics Carnival. That should keep me awake so I don't go home and just sleep. I'll try to get back into a normal routine as soon as possible. Back to work tomorrow! Beauty, I can't wait for that, not! No, I am looking forward to seeing everybody. Mads, if you are reading this, I got your mascara for you. Well, I look forward to catching up with you all in the not too distant future. I'm off for another chino before boarding my flight for Brisbane. Take care. Debbie

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Well, here I am again folks. This time sitting in the Qantas Club lounge at Narita Airport, Tokyo waiting for my 9.25pm flight home to Brisbane via Cairns. I should arrive home around midday tomorrow. It's been a stinking hot day here in Tokyo. I managed to catch a train into the city and have lunch with one of the guys I met in Zurich at the Ironman. He showed me a few places but had to get back to work. I caught a train down to Harajuka, where there are heaps of market type shops selling clothes, jewellery, shoes, hats etc. I particularly wanted to go there because Gwen Stefani has a song called Harajuka Girls, so I wanted to go and see what all the fuss was about. Apparently they are stylish, however it was so damned hot, I just wanted to get out of there. I am now waiting on my beeper to go off so I can have a shower as I haven't had one since I left Monte San Biagio early yesterday morning. I know what you are, I don't stink too badly. I did manage to have a bit of a wash on the plane before I landed in Tokyo.
It's been a fun trip when I look back on it. Lucky I only do this about once a year. Next year, I'll probably be doing it all again when I compete in Ironman Japan, but no European vacation for me after that. Maybe check out Japan a bit more. I look forward to catching up with you all upon my return. Take care. Debbie

Monday, 21 July 2008

Location: Terracina, Italy

Hi All
Well, here I am in the beachside commune of Terracina spending my last day prior to leaving Italy sunning myself. Last night I went for dinner at a great place called Hansel and Gretel where they have live music, a guy singing all songs in Italian. He sang Pavarotti and Andrea Bonacelli songs and other Italian songs and he was pretty good I must say. You can even get up and sing if you want to. I declined. The food was great and the surroundings were beautiful. All in all this trip has been an experience to say the least. I look forward to updaing my diary upon my arrival in either Rome or London, depending on time. I hope you are all well. Until then. Take care. Debbie

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Location: Fondi, Italy

Hi all
You may have thought that I have dropped off the face of the earth. Well, I feel like I have. The place I am staying is so backward, there is no internet cafe and hardly anybody speaks English. It took me a couple of days to find the main street of Monte San Biagio. The people who own the newsagency lived in the US for a number of years, so they have been my saving grace. The owner gave me a lift here to Fondi, 8k from MSB so I could use the internet. I have felt very isolated and alone up until now. I have tried to organise to come home early as I am homesick. This would be a great place if you came with a group of friends, as at least you would have somebody to talk to. Great riding also, although a bit dangerous. I haven't done any riding as my legs are still too sore and I couldn't be bothered to unpack my bike. It is very hot here, today it is over 40 degs. I am getting quite a suntan. Tonight I think I am going to a festival in Terracina, this is where Lamberto lives. Lamberto is the man who picked me up from the airport on Tuesday night. He is friends of the people I have rented to apartment from. They are crazy drivers over here. Lamberto reached speeds of 170kph, which apparently is quite normal. I thought I was going to die.
I have to catch a bus from MSB at about 5.15am on Tuesday morning, then catch a train to Rome. The trip will take just over an hour, then I have to catch another train to the airport in order to catch my flight home via London, Tokyo, Cairns then Brisbane. A real roundabout way to get home, but unfortunately the only way I can get home at this time of year. I have about 10 hours in Tokyo so am meeting up with a guy I met in Zurich. He is going to show me around Tokyo, if I can find him that is. Anyway, time for me to get back to the real world. I may not get back here to Fondi before I depart on Tuesday, so no more updates until I'm at the airport in Rome. Hope you are all well. Until next time. Take care. Debbie

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Hi all. I'm still alive. Just been laying low for a couple of days. Well, what a race!! The weather changed on Friday afternoon and it just poured rain from then until yesterday. The conditions were miserable to say the least. I really struggled mentally all day and I can recall at least eight times when I thought that I would pull out. I kept thinking about how much hard work I had put into getting here and how much so many people had helped me to get here that I couldn't let them down. Plus my aunt and uncle travelled here to watch me race. I certainly didn't want to let them down. The swim was nasty, very nasty. I only just managed to push past all the spectators and enter the water and they started the race. I ended up swimming over 4k (probably about 4.3k). People were rough, it was hard to navigate because visability was poor due to the rain and it was crowded. The water temperature was ok, but I was certainly happy to be wearing my wetsuit. I cut my foot half way through the swim as we had to get out and run about 20m over land then get back into the water. I was thinking about not getting back in at that stage. On the second lap of the swim, a guy who was swimming breaststroke (who the hell swims breaststroke in an Ironman?) kicked me in my hand. It hurt like hell and it still hurts now. I think I have done some damage to one of my fingers. I got out and felt a bit more positive. It took me about 3 minutes to get my wetsuit off, which frustrated me like you wouldn't believe. Again, I felt like giving up, but I had my buddies from the Scott tent screaming for me that I had to keep going. Anyway, I got out onto the bike and sat on around 38kph for the first 30k or so. I couldn't see anything with my sunglasses on due to the rain pelting down, so I took them off, then dropped them. Great work, new pair of sunnies downthe drain. I felt pretty good, except it was extremely cold. No matter how much effort I put in, I was not getting any warmer. I put on a wind vest over my tri suit prior to leaving transition, but could've done with a bit more clothing. I did have a pair of arm warmers to put on, but because of the wetsuit struggle, I gave up trying to put them on. The Beauty and the Beast climbs seemed a bit harder than when I rode them on Thursday, probably due to the cold weather. However, I still managed to stay seated for them. Then the downhills were very scary because of the wet conditions. I only rode down at about 50kph instead of the 70+kph I was riding on Thursday. There was one hill I rode down at 88kph, however I nearly lost control, so slowed down significantly for the rest of the downhills. The scenery was spectactular, although there was not much time to take it in. I came back through transition to go up Heartbreak Hill which I had decided not to ride up or even look at prior to the race. I'm happy to report that it was't as bad as everybody said, or at least I didn't think it was. I stayed seated going up it, so it couldn't have been that bad! Glad I put on my 12/27. I felt like I was in the Tour de France with people all over the road parting as I rode up. I felt pretty good going back past transition to start the second lap. "Only one lap to go" I kept saying to myself. Half way through the second lap it actually stopped raining, but I was getting bored and felt like pulling out again. I was starting to get severe pain in my left quad, something I thought may happen and my back was killing me. I kept going and was spurred on thinking about how good it was going to feel when I got off the bike. I went a bit slower on the second lap and ended up riding my second slowest time ever! Quite disappointed about that. When I was nearing the end of the bike, I started to think about the run and thought that I might actually have to walk the whole way. However, I got off and I could actually run and run quite well. I felt pretty good. I knew that I was definitely going to finish no matter what. I was spurred on by my aunt and uncle as I was able to see them a couple of times on each of the four laps as the course was a figure 8. Also, there were also quite a few Aussies in the crowd and they always gave me a big cheer as I ran past. I ran the whole way except for twice each lap I stopped at an aid station to ensure I got my Gu down with plenty of fluid to assist. Then, I started to get severe pain in my right quad, much worst than in my left quad. It was absolute agony and I have a high pain threshold! It was like somebody was stabbing me in the quad. Then my left hip flexor decided it had had enough also. So, I was in real pain. I kept remembering what my old coach, Alan Pitman used to say about pain. "Pain is weakness leaving the body". So, I refused to stop. I kept going and going and going. I felt like I could run forever, but my body was not wanting to play the game. My fitness was great, but my body is not what it used to be. However, I got over half way through the run and slowly but surely the k's left to run were dwindling. Then, hallelujah, I saw the 40.5k mark! It was the longest 1.7k, but it felt good running down that finishing shute. High fiving all the spectators, my aunt included. It was a strange feeling crossing the finish line. I think I was more relieved than anything. I bypassed the food and massage tents and jumped straight into a hot tub after the race and sat in there for a fair while reliving the race with the other competitors. Europeans tend not to be very shy, as there were a lot of guys prancing around in NOTHING!! What a way to end the race, sitting in a hot tub viewing some nice specimens. I eventually decided to exit the hot tub as I was turning into a prune and no, I wasn't naked. I put on my wet clothes as nothing was dry due to the rain. It was very cold and miserable. I caught up with David and his brother Dan, collected my bike and jumped into a taxi for my trip back to the hotel. I couldn't find my aunt and uncle and couldn't phone them as my phone was wet also. It was too cold to stay around until middnight. I found my aunt and uncle back at the hotel, they had just arrived. We had a nice celebratory dinner and of course some nice red wine to accompany it. I didn't sleep particularly well that night as I was in so much pain that any time I moved it woke me up. When I woke up in the morning, I was so stiff and sore and had massive bruising on my right quad and around to my hamstring. I had obviously done some damage to my quad muscle, but not sure of the extent of the damage. (I have since found out that I actually tore my rectus femoris). Today I am wearing my compression stockings and taking it easy and wouldn't you know it, the weather is gorgeous. Oh, well that's life. Well, this has certainly been a very character building event. I am so glad that I kept going and yes, I am going to do just one more to make it an even 10. So, look out all my training buddies, get ready for some more!! I'm off now for my last look around Zurich before heading to the airport for my flight to Rome. I'm not sure I'll have too much internet access in Monte San Biagio, so you may not hear from me for a week. I hope you are all well. I would like to say a big thank you to all my training buddies, in particular my riding partners, initially when just getting back into it - Colleen, Ange, Sheena, Chris, Anna and the other Park Road ladies. Victor, Craig, Scotty, Sarah, Rhonda, Gilly and the usual suspects for those longer rides. Also, a big thank you to Smoothy and the Smiddy riders who allowed me to accompany them on their Warwick weekend training ride. I couldn't have done this without having you guys to ride with as I am still too sooky to ride on my own. A big thank you to all my swimming buddies who kept pushing me in the pool, in particular Jenny, Paul, Bud, Kirsten and Georgie and of course to Jae, my swim coach. A big thank you also to my running buddies, Malcolm, Kirsty, Janelle and Kim and of course Lewie for all your support and guidance. Thanks also to my dear friends Valerie, Craig, Simon, Tammy and Anna who are always so supportive and caring. Thanks also, to my employer, Maunsell for allowing me to have the time off and to my workmates who are all so very supportive of me and my training regime and tolerate me when I'm tired and cranky. I know you all think I'm crazy! Also a big thank you to my team of remedial and medical specialists who have taken such good care of me particulary over the past 15 months. My massage therapist (Jura), my physios (Vic and Dolph), my chiropractor (Adam), my podiatrist (Nathan), my acupuncturist/mysotheraphist (Stephen) and my PT (Tamara). Last but not least a big thank you to my sponsors Jaggad (Graeme Evans), Ride Oz (Mark Lang) and Altitude Plus (Vic and Chris) along with Executive Excellence (Rob). Again, a big thanks to
Vic who is the best confidant you could possibly ask for. I certainly couldn't have achieved half of what I have without you. Until next time. Debbie

Friday, 11 July 2008

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Hi everyone. Well, I think I am finally over my travel here. It was quite an experience on all fronts. I had a little cry yesterday as I felt like it was all too much for me to handle. I guess I have come a long way from April last year. I'm not nervous yet, but I guess that will happen tonight at the carbo loading party. Nice of them to throw me a party isn't it. As you know, when I got here on Wednesday, I had a broken tooth on my big chain ring and had to get it replaced. The guys I took it to for the repair actually surprised me today with a birthday cake and even sang to me. How sweet was that? It was a delicious cake too. I had a swim today in my wetsuit and my shoulder held up ok, so hopefully it will be right for race day. I rode one lap of the bike course yesterday and loved the scenery. Although on race day, there will be no time for sightseeing. Looking forward to getting the race over now. I'm ready to race and I'm ready to race FAST. The race conditions are going to be pretty tough as they are predicting storms, lightning, rain and wind. It will be scary on those descents and let me tell you, those descents are mighty scary in good conditions. I met up with my friend Sharyn and her friend Sandra today and met some other Aussies. Apparently, there are about 20 of us here, so we have organised to sit together tonight. It should be fun. Well, I must go outside and wait for the bus now. Don't want to be late for the party. I hope everybody is doing well. Until tomorrow. Debbie

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Greetings from Zurich. Well, so far my trip has been eventful. Yesterday when I was unpacking my bike, I found it damaged. One of the teeth on my big chain ring was bent back, obviously damaged on my trip over. I took it to get repaired, riding in the small chain ring 5.5k to the Ironman village. It took me about 90 minutes to find the place. Getting lost several times and having to ask for directions. At least the motorists are very patient over here. There are heaps of cyclists, most not wearing helmets. The guy at the bike shop said my bike couldn't be repaired and that I would need to purchase a new part. So, CHF220 later, my bike is rideable again. The hard part now is trying to advise the airline about the damage. Apparently, they won't accept anything but a visit from me to the airport to report the damage. Fat chance of that happening. Looks like I'm stuck with paying for the damage myself. Haven't done any training yet. I pigged out on CHF30 worth of pasta last night. Yes, it's very expensive to visit here. My accommodation includes breakfast, so managed to stay in the restaurant for over 90 minutes and ate all I could to the point where I was about to throw up if I consumed one more item. I'm about to jump on my bike and ride down to the Ironman village, hopefully in less than 90 minutes this time. I'll go for a run, then a swim have some lunch and then go on an organised ride over part of the bike course. Then ride home, again hopefully in less than 90 minutes. Have a shower, some dinner and then home to watch CNN (the only English speaking tv station) before going off to sleep. Tomorrow I will wake up as a 40 year old. I wonder what the next 40 years will bring me? Until then. Debbie

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Recent Messages

From Rosslyne
Hello Great too hear from you. Hope your sleeping ok and its only 2 sleeps till i see you cant wait. love Rosslyne Jarrod and Jacinta xxx
Response: Hi Ros
Yes, looking forward to seeing you too. See you Thursday. Love Debbie
From sal
Hi Deb

Well done onn the race and enjoy your trip.

Cheers sal
Response: Hi Sal

Thanks heaps. I am enjoying my trip now that I have learnt a bit of the language and communicating is a bit easier. Take care. Debbie
From Jonathan D
Hi Debbie, WOW! I am totally in awe and in tears reading your amazing journals and what you have achieved ONCE again. Deb, you are simply awesome and the Debbie I got to now over the years and thought I had lost touch with. Let me congratulate you on reaching the Norty 40 and for a fantastic result in the Ironman. I have only just yesterday returned from a 3 week holiday in Fiji with family & friends from Brisbane and Auckland. It was fantastic but sad that it has come to an end. Deb, I would so love to get together over coffee or lunch to catch up and hear all about your trip. But in the meantime please enjoy the rest of your trip and have a safe flight home. I am so very proud of you my friend. Loys of love - Jonathan
Response: Hi Jonathan
Thanks so much for your kind words. It's always sad to end a holiday especially when you have had such a great time with your family and friends. Yes, we must catch up soon. Promise. Take care. Debbie
From Tammy
Congrats!!!!! I am speechless. You are such a legend. Well done, girl! Can't wait to see you again and congratulate you in person. You inspire me no end. All the best for the recovery phase - and the next challenge! Keep safe, Tam xx
Response: Hi Tam
Thanks so much. §You are always so supportive and I appreciated your friendship. I look forward to seeing you next week. I have definitely been taking it easy and am ready to get back into some serious training. Take care. Debbie
From Rosslyne
Hey I just finished reading Oh i have goose bumps. You better come back blacker than me sis 40 degrees. Its so cold here at home. Keep up the water I no i don't have to tell you but its my job as little sis to mother you. I promise i will be there at quantas air port on thursday 12pm. I will not let you down. Just dont have any panic attacks. Maybe as a challenge you might want to learn a second language. Hey we did French at school. Yes i can understand how lonely it would be but i no you would not of don't this if you were not focused. YOU ARE AN Aussie IRONWOMEN CHAMPION> HEAR COMES A BIG HUG AND KISS LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU>
Response: Thanks little sis. I'd better get off this internet now and get back to Monte San Biagio now. I go to the local bar to watch the Tour de France live on tv, so I enjoy that even though it is in Italian. See you Thursday.
Love Debbie.
From Rosslyne
Gosh i am not a speed reader but you got my attention big sister. I am in overdrive just hearing your voice. Let you no you have not left my mind. NO I havenot abondanded you. I am so proud of you.
Have a great day. love you so much stay positive and enjoy even though there will be frustrating moments dont get all shitty just remember its once in a life time.
Response: Ok, just getting frustrated. I look forward to you picking me up on Thursday. I will text you the details. It costs me .75c to send you a text message, hence why I haven't sent many. It doesn't cost you any more than normal to send me a message though. Say hi to Glenn, Jarrod and Jacinta for me. Take care. Love Debbie
From Janelle
Congratulations Deb on a fantastic result from what sounds like a harrowing race. I live in awe of you ironmen.
Happy Birthday too!!
Enjoy your holiday, I look forward to hearing about it back at running!
Take care. Janelle.
Response: Hi Janelle
Thanks for your email. Yes, the conditions on race day were pretty ordinary to say the least. I was disappointed most with my ride and then my run. I felt fine breathing wise, just so much pain in my quads. I have never had pain like that before. It certainly hindered my run. I could've ridden and run a lot faster, so I guess that is good to remember that. I hope you are recovering well from your great effort in the marathon. I look forward to seeing you back at training in a couple of weeks. Say hi to everyone for me. Take care. Debbie
From Susie (in Denver!)
Hey Deb,
Well done mate..., am glad you finally got to do your Swiss IM. Sounds like a harsh day.

Ange sent me the link to this page..., have loved reading about your adventures :>) Have a nice holiday and recover well.

What will be number 10? We just did IM Coeur d'Alene. I recommend it - the course would suit you well too :>)

Take Care,
Response: Hi Susie
Thanks for your email. It was a tough day at the office. I am currently in Italy recovering, sort of. The hills here are killing my legs. Where I am staying is very out of the way and I am struggling to get around as nobody speaks English and my Italian is nearly non existant. Well done to you on your race in Coeur d'Alene. I was happy to see that you won your age group and off to Hawaii I guess? You will do well, especially with all the altitude training. I hope you are enjoying living in the states. I would love to move over there, but can't see myself being able to transfer there for work. For number 10, I was thinking about doing either IM WA again or IM Japan next year or both. Maybe I could do one in the states, who knows? Say hi to Robbie for me. Take care. Debbie
From Jenny
Congratulations Debbie! You are an IRONMAN all over again! Well done! A great time (for the new Debbie) and a consistent performance all round. Looking forward to hearing all about it including the highs and lows.

Now time to have fun.

Love Jenny xx

Response: Hi Jen. Thanks for your encouragement. It was the hardest race I've ever done. Make sure you check out my diary about race day. Debbie
From Jenny
How did you go?
From Mary-Ann
Greeting from Oz Debbie big congrats to you - time to celebrate hey! Have looked at the stats - not meaning a lot to me but given it took me two hours to do 20k ride yesterday (managed to fit a fry up at the 10k mark though) I guess yours are pretty impressive - well done:) Enjoy....
Response: Hi Mary-Ann. Hope all is going well at work and it hasn't been too stressful for you. I'll have you doing an Ironman soon! I'm looking forward to some well earned r&r in Italy. See you when I get back. Debbie
From Kirsty B
Hey Deb!
Happy birthday for Friday, hope you had a great day!! Congratulations on the race! You must be so relieved (and tired) now that it's all over. Looking forward to seeing you back at running. Enjoy the rest of your trip!!
Stay safe
Response: Hey Kirsty, thanks. I am definitely relieved that it is all over. I hope you have recovered and I look forward to running with you some more on my return. Debbie
From Leonie
Congrats Debbie! Excellent Effort!
Response: Thanks Leonie. Tough day. Makes working at Maunsell look easy . I kept thinking the whole time I was racing "I chose to to this". Debbie
From Mads
Hey Deb
good work, did I read that right and you came 14th overall in your division??
Freakin' awesome stuff if that is the case, you're an absolute legend!
Now you can make up for all that hard work and get some of that French and Italian grog into you...
Enjoy your European holiday now.
Catch you soon.
Response: Hey Mads, nice to hear from you. 13th in my age group, 2nd worst placing ever, but I'm happy I finished. Debbie
From Rosheen
Hi Debbie,

Just checked the results, I think you were 13th but not sure, my german isn't the best.

If you were 13th I am absolutely thrilled for you, that is an amazing achievement and you have done a fantastic job. Good on you!!!!!

Now you can relax and enjoy the holiday, have a great time and don't under any circumstances behave yourself.

See you when you get back,

Congrats again,


Response: Thanks Rosheen, yes 13th place. My worst 2nd worst placing in an Ironman, but I'm back. Make sure you read my diary entry. Debbie
From bruce purdon
Leonne sent us all your birthday wish and the ironman website link. I checked your progress on the way through and this morning. Congatulations on the effort - I think the numbers are impressive. I'd love to be able 1x6min km even 11 for the bridge to brisbane (even 11x7min kms) let alone 42 of the buggers after a longer swim and a longer ride than I've ever thought of - and faster for any part than I could have ever done. Hope you pull up well and recover quickly. See ya whenever you're back.
Response: Thanks Bruce. Tough day at the office. Make sure you read my diary entry about race day.
From Jenny
Happy 40th Birthday Deb! What a memorable birthday this one will be!

Love your stories - laughed and cried with you. Keep them coming.

Now........all the very best for this Ironman! You have made an amazing recovery from your accident.....this Ironman will complete your return as an extreme endurance athlete. You have done the work, you have the head and mind for this kind of job so now go and do your very best Deb.

Love xx

Response: Hey Jen, thanks for your wishes. Make sure you read my diary entry.
From Katie
Hello Debbie!!

Happy Naughty Forty Day!! I hope all the men are lookers!!
Best of luck in your race! Miss you here at work!
Response: Hi Katie
I can't complain about the scenery on all levels. This place is amazing. Are you sure you miss me? Or are you just saying that? Hope the morning sickness has left you and you are feeling better. Take care.
From Rosheen
Hi Debbie,
Happy birthday to you!!!!
All thinking of you here and will be following your progress on Sunday ( no pressure or anything), sounds like your travel was awful , just remember the holiday after all of this. Yeah!!!!
Good luck in the race and I hope your shoulder holds out for it.


Response: Hi Rosheen
Thanks for your support. Hopefully the race goes better than the travel. I had a swim this morning in my wetsuit, having not swum since Monday morning. I am feeling pretty confident now as I had no pain this morning. I will do a little 500m swim in the morning, a 15 minute run and a short ride tomorrow, then put my feet up. I certainly look forward to my holiday after this.
From Leonie
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEBBIE!! Good luck on Sunday! :)
Response: Thanks Leonie. I hope all is going well at work. I am feeling quite confident about the race now having ridden one lap of the bike course yesterday. The scenery was absolutely spectactular. It was hard to concentrate on the road. It was funny to ride past cows with those big bells around their necks. I really didn't think they actually existed.
From Rhonda
Hey Deb
Happy Birthday for tomorrow !! The Big 40. I'm actually surprised you made it that far given your eventful travel tales thus far.... (woops! - the old gas cartridge in the bike box trick! always a way of endearing yourself to an airline. Nice work on the Baileys.... probably take an ironman race to burn that off!). Well let's hope the race goes better than your travel leg! The weather has turned chilly since your departures so 7 degree starts to our weekend rides! We'll be sure to have a coffee for you at Banjo's Cleveland on the day of the race! Good luck and will catch up with you on line. take care.
Response: Thanks Rhonda. The weather here has been fantastic. Nice and hot, although today and up until after race day, they are forecasting storms, hail and wind. Fantastic conditions for race day! I will have to watch it on those steep descents. Rode up two of the three climbs yesterday. Managed to stay seated although that won't be possible up Heartbreak Hill. I decided not to ride it until race day. After all, I have to ride up it twice. Why ruin the surprise. Look forward to riding again with you upon my return. Say hi to the usual suspects for me.
From Craig

What do you mean you "forgot" about the gas cylinders in your luggage! I do believe that I told you that gas cylinders weren't allowed in your luggage!! :) But as you told me you'd done it before and knew plenty of others who had as well. Do I have to say I told you so!! :) haha

Response: Yeah, thanks for that Craig. Well, I have done it before. Anyway, I didn't get arrested. How did you go with Qantas?
From John G.
Debbie, it has been a while since we have had a coffee, I hope you have a wonderful time and look forward to reading about your adventures. I undesstand some of them will be left on the cutting room floor {the good ones} Have a great time will catch up on your return. John.
Response: Hey, thanks John. Nice to hear from you. Yes, I look forward to catching up for that coffee some time in the near future. Nearly through my epic 35+ hour journey. Sitting at Heathrow getting ready to board flight to Zurich. If you are luck, you might get to see the cutting room floor photos!! Take care. Debbie
From Leonie Scowen
Have a great time Debbie! We'll be keeping an eye on you from here... Good luck and Happy Birthday! :)
Response: Hey Leonie. I'm in the BA Lounge in Honkers at the moment. What a nightmare I've had. It is 11.40pm Aussie time and 9.40pm HK time. I purchased some duty free stuff on my Qantas flight on the way over, including a 700ml bottle of Baileys to celebrate with after the race, only to find out that I couldn't take it any further than here. So, what's a girl to do? I had to pass through customs, which only being in transit, I didn't need to do. Anyway, I passed through customs and then tried to check in it but was told it would cost me $1500 HK dollars because I had already checked in 2 items of luggage at Brisbane. So I sat and drank about 600ml of it!!! I am now suitably p*ssed and trying to type this email to you. I have had a bit of a bite to eat in the Qantas Club, but am struggling to keep my eyes open. Time for a shower, I think. Ok, mental note, don't buy alcohol or anything over 100ml if only transiting as you won't be able to keep it. No way was I going to surrender my 700ml bottle of Baileys to those bloody Security people. Not good preparation for an Ironman, however I should sleep well on the 12.35pm flight to London. It is now 11.47pm Brisbane time, 9.47pm HK time and I still have over 2 and a half hours to go before I board the flight to London and then onto Zurich. I think I will sleep well tomorrow night. I hope all is going well at work and everybody turns up tomorrow. I have raved on long enough, so will go and have some more food. Take care. Talk soon. Sorry, if I made any spelling mistakes. Debbie
From Amanda
Hi Deb, hope you had a great Birthday on Friday night. Good luck with the travel, I look forward to being updated with your travels! Also Good Luck for the Race!
Response: Thanks Amanda. My birthday is actually on the 11th, just had it early as I'll be in Zurich. Thanks and keep an eye on me on How's it going being back on the coast? Talk soon.