Wednesday, December 7, 2011


On 06/12/2011, at 8:42 PM, "Darren Robinson - body4u" <> wrote:

OK due to a few requests and whilst it's all fresh, I'll close this Ironman blog out with my account of the day.

I must do the sucky stuff first cos it comes from the heart - Huge congrats to Ang who got through this ironman only 12 weeks after surgery was an inspirational effort and testimony to her will to compete.

That said - No mercy on the day - you take the field you're fit to play!

My mission as Ang almost got right was;
Priority 1- Beat Ang
Priority 2 - Make sure I crossed the finish line in under 17hrs
Priority 3 - Do the best time I could.

(OK truthfully I'm not sure which order they were in)

The siren goes for race start and Yes, a Happy Birthday kiss to Ang on the beach at sunrise, then into the ocean as quickly as possible before I got any feeling of guilts about maybe swimming with Ang to look after her in the water.
Conscience clear, I was away. Swim felt really good for me as I can almost call myself a swimmer once I put a wetsuit on and my legs stop dragging the bottom like anchors. Anal as I am, I counted my swim strokes for the 3.8km as I wanted to know where I was at throughout the swim. 3900 strokes in total (counted one by one Ha Ha) The first km was very disrupted with people swimming across me and me giving more than my fair share back to anyone in my way. The 2nd km out to the end of the jetty was very rough with rolling swell made it very difficult to keep a good line as you couldn't see over the swell most of the time. At 2000 strokes I rounded the jetty, had a quick think about how far back Ang might be, and headed for home. Last km I was feeling good so swum a bit harder and rounded up a few places before the swim exit. I was very happy with my 1hr 11mins when I got out onto the beach cheered on by mum, Bai and Hayes - I walked to theT1 bike transition as I didnt want to ping my dodgy right calf early in the race.

A very leisurely 9.24 transition to regroup (the swim must have taken a bit out of me cos I didn't want to get going any sooner) while the fantastic volunteers un-dressed, re-dressed, sunscreened and re packed my gear bag for me. A quick gel and a leak, (didn't like the idea of pissing in my knicks on the bike as I had my electrolyte drinks in my back bottle cages and the road out was into a stiff headwind).
Grabbed my bike and on my way to Cheers of 'go Darren' from mum (Bai and Hayes were waiting for Ang at the swim exit - I was hoping they'd be there for a while Ha).
The ride was tough, it was very hot and the wind hurt the legs. I did the 1st 60km loop at roughly my target race heart rate of 165 (set by our awesome bike coach Pete - Tecotraining). Onto my gotta beat the wife side of the brain (thats the left and right side) each time I hit a bike turnaround I would note the km on my garmin and count them till we met with Ang still heading towards the turnaround I'd just come from. 1st sighting, I was honestly very happy to see her on the bike because it meant she'd survived the swim and was in the race and still on track to be an ironman. Anyway, i was 4km heading back when we crossed - I was flying downwind at about 42km/h and she was fighting into the head wind - beauty! (meant I was 8km in front - approx 16min so OK but I needed a much bigger lead before the run)

The 1st 60km I had averaged 32.9km/hr but the 2nd 60km loop got harder as the wind and temp picked up and a bit of fatigue and discomfort started to creep in. I couldn't keep the HR as I felt the legs would get too tired with a long day still ahead (Mental note - have to train harder for next Melbourne IM in March). Rounded the turnaround with the 'Go Dad' from the kids and mum and I high fived them as I rode past. Ang and I crossed again, this time I was 6km in (12km lead = 24min - still not enough) I was actually a bit suprised Ang was going so well. (bloody bike coach's fault). We did another crossover during the 2nd loop and I was about 8km (32 min). The 105km mark notched up and a bit of relief from the wind heading back the 15km back into town.

Rounded the turnaround in town for the last time ' Hayes yelled how many left - and I got out 'last one' as I got a bit of adrenaline rush so pushed hard up to speed in front of the crowds (as you do). Slowed down pretty quickly once I got out of town and the wind bit again. This time it was 9.5km till I saw Ang heading back into town. She looked to be spinning really well and moving quickly and I thought 'shit!" so I knuckled down a bit to get a good rhythm happening and pushed a bit harder into the wind. I turned into one of the stretches that was 5km in and 5km out and my mission was to get back out of there before Ang turned in. Mission accomplished - I knew I was more than 20km in front = +40mins, I was on track to hold her off on the run. The last 60km was hard (the most Ang and I have ever ridden was 150km so the last 30km was breaking new ground for us.) My right quad cramped a bit so I had another salt tablet and my arse was sore as hell (Ive got rippled bruises all the way up the right cheek now - no chance of getting a wife massage - unreasonable I reckon). I finished the bike at 5.45 (ave 31.3km/hr) so was pretty happy with where I was at until I dismounted and tried to jog to the T2 change tent. I looked and felt like a spastic (no offence at all) as each step my legs buckled and I had to fight to stay up let alone jog to the tent. I grabbed my run bag and collapsed into a chair like I was sunbaking on a banana lounge. I couldn't move or talk and the two volunteers again saved the day. They emptied my bag got all sweaty changing my clothes, sunscreened me again and then I had to think about the dreaded nemesis of mine (and the bit where I am normally passed by my lovely wife with a bum tap and a kiss and a see you at the finish honey) - THE RUN

By the time I had my fuel belt on and about 11 gels in my back pocket (one for every 30mins), 10 salt tablets (min. one each hr), a few voltarin (as needed) , some anti chafing cream, my sleeves(in case I was still out there at night) I'm sure I was carrying about 5 extras kilos but it had to be done. I found my legs and jogged slowly out onto the 42.2km course. I had to keep running for the 1st couple of k's as the start of the run loop took you through town, past the finish line and in front of all the crowds of spectators cheering you on. (can't walk in front of crowds). I got through the 1st loop 10.5km in 1hr 20 and felt Ok and fairly confident of maintaining the rate.
Back into my left and right brain - I did a bit of math and was OK with the thought of 5hr 20min. I had thought Ang would be about 50min to 1hr behind me so she would have to run 4hr 20 to get me. (possible for her but would be very tough I thought). We crossed and I couldn't believe how much ground she'd made up - she was flying, I was walking. After a 'well done Angie!' I thought shit! again and started jogging straight away. I passed the kids and mum and heard 'has mum passed you yet' I said no but she will on the next lap. I stuck to my plan and got through the 2nd loop on my target 2hr 40min. Ang had been closing in fast so I had to dig deep and push on as much as I could. I was well into the 3rl loop and to my surprise Ang had not closed the gap as much as I had thought (poor thing with her legs and guts playing up - I thought Beauty, and jogged on. At this point I thought I was a big chance as I could see Ang was hurting and doing it tough. As I past the crowd after completing the 3rd loop I saw the finish line clock at 11hr 14min, my math told me I could get in under 13hrs so I was very determined to hold the rate to the finish if I could. I headed out again for the last 10.5km, there was a guy trying to run with two straight legs - very funny in a sick way - I gave him a couple of salt tablets, we wished each other good luck and on we went. By now I had some of my own issues as you do (bordering cramps in my both my quads and left hammie, right calf had pinged by now, something that felt like a stress fracture on the outside of my right foot, 3 black toenails as revealed later, an aching back, neck, and generally f%*#ked all over.) but hey this is an ironman and everyone would do it if it was easy. All things considered though, I was feeling good and starting to get pumped. As I headed towards the last turnaround 5km from home I took note of the landmarks so I could see how far behind me Ang was. I thought that if I could get back to at least 1km from the turnaround before Ang got there I had it in the bag. Well woohoo I saw her at just over 1km out, I was again wrapt that we were both going to finish, but I was also stoked that she couldn't get me from here. 2km infront with 4km to go, I could have walked it in! I think I could see it broke her at that point. I was OK cos it was no mercy - conscience clear (she'd done it to me many times). Anyway leaving nothing to chance I had to run the last 4km to the finish looking over my shoulder quite a few times just in case.

The finishing chute was a great sight and I high fived the crowd all the way to the line - Got the call - Darren Robinson - You are an IRONMAN crossed the finish line in 12hr 37 mins and squared the ledger (1 Ironman = 2 half Ironmans)

The sequel could be the decider? - Ironman Melbourne March 25th 2012!!!!!

Fantastic experience and worth every bit of the 12 months training to get here.



On 06/12/2011, at 4:16 PM, Angela Houseman - body4u wrote:

Hi everyone, this is Ang here to give you a post Ironman race report. It may be a bit long but I can't put 13 hours of horrendous torture into any less words.

Firstly I have to congratulate Darren on a great race and beating me across the line (on my birthday no less) in a magnificent time of 12hours and 37mins. A bloody top effort and I am very proud of him!
Darren had a great swim 3.8km and was feeling good as he exited in 1hour and 11mins. With great support on the sidelines from Bailey, Hayes and Darrens mum Marie (which means so much during the race) he headed for the transition area. After a cruisey transition, with 2 helpers getting him prepared, loaded up with a shit load of gels, powerbars, electolytes, power blasts etc. etc. Daz headed out onto the first 60km lap of 3 laps of the 180km bike course. I will have to let him fill you in on his thoughts and how he felt during his ride, but he did say that he thought the bike was the toughest leg of the race and the bike leg is his favourite so that may give you some idea of how tough it felt.
After 5 hours and 45 minutes Daz arrived back at transition and handing his bike off to the catcher he began to sort of jog/stumble on jelly legs towards the gear bags and change tents for T2 (transition 2). Another fairly long transition and saying to himself "how the f@#k am I going to get up and run a marathon, before heading out (once again loaded with fuel in his fuel belt) onto the first of 4 laps of the 42k marathon run leg. With his pacing plan in place he was on the final part of what was to be his first Ironman finish. His first objective on the run was to finish and the second was to make sure I didn't catch him (no pressure haha). Once again he will have to tell you how it all felt, but it must have been feeling pretty damn sweet when on the last lap we passed each other he knew he had a 2km lead on me with only 4km to go - he was taking this one!!!.
As Daz ran up the red carpeted finishers chute with the crowd roaring and hears those awesome words "Darren Robinson YOU ARE AN IRONMAN"

Well, enough of the well done Darren - whatever!!! Lets hear my version of the same race haha.

After about 3 hours sleep on Saturday night the morning had finally arrived. With our bike and run gear bags already in the transition area there really wasn't a lot to get ready. So force down a little bit of food, get the family up and organised and we are in the car by 3.30am and on our way to the transition area.
We get a great park right near the main transition and swim exit and make our way to check in. It is a really relaxed atmosphere and the sun hasn't come up yet. This is the scene we have witnessed on TV heaps of times, athletes pumping up tyres, checking their bikes and preparing themselves for the day ahead.
I am surprised that I am feeling pretty good and not overly nervous. We have ourselves set and its time to head over to the beach and toward the swim start.
The sun is coming up and it looks as though the day is going to be another warm one with not a cloud in the sky and a little bit of wind. Kisses all round to the kids and Marie and we make our way across the timing mat and onto the beach. Surrounded by 1400 other athletes all decked out in black wetsuits, white swim caps and goggles what an amazing and scary sight. Darren in his usual optimistic style is telling me how flat the water looks but to someone like me who has had a couple of near drowning episodes if there is a bloody ripple on the surface its rough!!!

The air horn blares and the race is on - a quick kiss and Daz is off, no mercy will be shown birthday or not, and I begin to make my way into the water. Staying wide on the right hand side I am hoping the currents of the previous days will help to drag me towards the end of the Jetty which is the longest bloody wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. I am not an open water swimmer and I struggle to see where I am going and deal with my anxiety but I chant to myself "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" until a lifeguard on a board paddles next to me and says "honey you are miles from the jetty, you need to get yourself back over there" - well thank you very much, my panic sets in as I tread water and see how far I have drifted away from the jetty, the water is rough with swells that keep bobbing me up and down like a bottle floating in the sea. I begin to pull hard and turn towards the jetty getting smashed in the face and copping a number of mouthfuls of sea water. I begin to feel seasick and eventually have to throw up, lovely! I am seriously considering getting rescued at this point as I feel like i have been out there an eternity, but I remember chatting with a triathlete the day before and he said 'whatever you do when you feel like quitting think of how you will feel the next day' - its enough to make me keep thrashing my way around the top buoy and start to head back toward the beach, which is still 2 friggin kms away. The swim never gets better for me and I am so disoriented and dizzy that I am almost sure I am not going to make the cut off. This shows how my perception was so far off as I was actually doing an ok time for me. Anyway I finally get to place my feet down on the sand of the beach and I can't even woohoo as I am feeling so nauseous and Marie and the kids said I was very grey. I struggle up the sand and Hayes yells out Dad is 12 minutes in front - I am surprised but don't really give a toss at this stage.

Transition 1 is a long one with the help of volunteers to get me ready for the bike leg. I head out to my bike and am still not recovered from the sick feeling of the swim - I hope I don't crash mounting my bike - that would just be sooo embarrassing. All is good though and I am on my way. It takes ages for me to feel a bit better and I notice that it is quite windy and warm out here so I should start to hydrate and get a bit of food down. I hear "go Ang" and see Daz wizzing past and work out that he is going a few kms an hour quicker than me which is what I had estimated. This is a promising sign for me as I realise I am holding my own. At about 45kms into the ride my neck and traps start to get really sore and I am not quite ready to deal with this so early in the bike. I pop a voltaren and hope that will dull the pain- it doesn't! Through the roundabout at the first 60k lap turn around, smiles and cheers from our faithful family support group. Lap 2 is tough and I have to pop another voltaren to deal with my upper body issues. I see Daz again and he looks like he is out on a Sunday cruise, all he needed was a bread stick in a basket on the front of his bike the bastard! I complete my second lap and head out on the last - this is one of the hardest points for me heading out on the last lap (I thought it would feel great to know it was the last) but it didn't. The sky has darkened slightly and the wind has increased even more, there are a few spots of rain and it looks like this could change the day a bit. It doesn't last long and the sky brightens again and the temperature hits 35 degrees again with the wind still relentless. Chanting required again - this time "just keep pedalling. just keep pedalling". 2 more voltaren (not a good thing but who cares) and I finally approach the dismount line. The officials smile and say well done, my response, "does anyone want a bike". I pass the bike to a catcher and have a bit of a chat as I wander through to transition, then I hear "Dad is 54 minutes ahead mum, come on you can do it". 'Hayes'- you gotta love him!!! The surrounding crowd all start laughing and Bai and Marie give me a cheer of encouragement. I have to say right at this point I am so looking forward to going for a run believe it or not.

A very long T2 and I head out on the run. Yes yes yes I am on my way home, I am doing something I like and am good at and it feels great! I make my first run up the main street with the red carpet and finishing chute and hear people cheering for professional athlete Jason Shortis a triathlete legend. He is running beside me and we have a little chat, he is finishing (coming 3rd in the elites) and asks where I am at I say just starting my marathon what a birthday present, he leans over gives me a running hug and wishes me happy birthday and all the best just before heading left into the sacred finishing chute. At this point I realise I was keeping pace with Jason and my pace is on a 4.26k. Wow Ang you'd better pull it back a bit but shit it feels good. I do begin to pull back my pace a bit but am feeling great. I run past the kids and catch them by surprise so they run on the beach down from where I am screaming go mum! I see Darren and realise he has an 8km lead on me. Not impossible, but not going to be easy. Pick up my first black wrist band to indicate lap completed. 2nd lap its nice and hot out there and the supporters on the course are great fun and things are looking ok. Water, ice, oranges, watermelon is all I want at this stage, gels make me want to puke and electrolyte I am sick of even though I still do drink some. I see Daz again and I have made up 3km in the first lap which makes him 5km in front of me so still going good. Second black wrist band and into the 3rd lap. It is amazing how in an instant things can change, in about 200m my left achilles and the top of my right ankle seize up. Then in another 200m my guts decided to go into a knot and my race was taking another wonderful turn. Thank god this course goes along the beach front and there are lots of toilet blocks as well as the wonderful porta loos - oh my god let me tell you these are not pretty 11 hours into a hot day but desperate times take desperate measures, so don't look, don't smell and get out as quickly as you can. This process went on for about a 5km stretch until I had nothing left. I must admit the amount of people out on that run burping and farting (very gutsy I wouldn't have been game) was hilarious, but no one gives a toss. I finally got my third black wrist band and headed out onto the last lap about 3km behind Dazza, the kids and Marie gave me another cheer and informed me dad was about 20 minutes ahead of me. I give them all a final kiss and I'm off. Well Ang this is it my one last effort to try and catch him and I knew it was going to be within the last 5k if I could get him so we could finish together. I picked up my pace in pain and very depleted and began my chant "just keep running, just keep running". I was heading up the long straight toward the last turn around before heading back to the finish and I was doing everything to stop myself from walking when I thought I saw Darren, I kicked up my pace (and spiked my heart rate to 180bpm which my run garmin revealed later), I gained distance and then reality hit hard - it wasn't Darren, f@#k, f@#k, f@#k, about 3 minutes later I see Daz heading back about 4km from the finish and I'm at 6km it's just too much for me, so I yell out congratulations and he yells back "Ang we are going to make it". I get to the aid station I am broken and have nothing left and it dawns on me that I am actually going to get to the finish even if I walk the rest of the way, after my slowest split time it takes a big effort and some friendly encouragement from the supporters to get my legs turning over into a jog again and head for that last wrist band yeh an orange one - my favourite colour that day! As I run through the checkpoint where they hand out the wrist bands I yell "give me a bloody orange one!". The crowd on the sidelines know orange means you are heading up the finish chute this time round and they start to get behind you, I am starting to grin from ear to ear and when I veer left onto the red carpet and into the chute ironman logos on both sides of me, the crowd banging on the fencing, I am giving high fives all round, I am alone in the chute for my finest moment and I hear "Angela Houseman you are an Ironman" followed by the cries from Darren, Bailey, Hayes and Marie as I cross the line in 12 hours and 56 minutes with a little jump of joy. Darren comes over to give me a congratulatory birthday hug and kiss and thank god it is finally over!

Lots of Love Ironman Ang xxx

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

White water rafting, elephants and more.......

Trust me you cannot get bored of waking to such spectacular views!

As we fuss around getting ready for our next day filled with fun and adventure it becomes apparent that Lou is definitely our resident forgetful head, what a laugh if something is missing it is Lous, probably buried in her magic camelback which holds so much stuff it is unbelievable, I truly think it is a black hole in there! We do make it to breakfast and have a guess as to what our smoothy contains today.

Fuelled up we head off in a minivan supplied by the adventure group, they pick you up and drive you everywhere you need to go, in your own private little group, no stress, no fuss. The driver is a bit more subdued than our own racing car driver Wayan so we all sit back and save on our adrenalin stores - for this journey anyway.

We arrive at the location where we will have a go at white water rafting. Funnily enough our guide is called Wayan so no probs there. We look so glam in our crash helmets and life jackets carrying our paddles - wheres Australias Next Top Model when you need em?

A short walk down to the boat/raft says Wayan who disappears into the bushes. So barefoot off we go and go and go and go, short walk my .....well you get the idea it is a fair hike down down down to the water. As we arrive at our raft Wayan is pumping it up - I'm thinking 'I hope this is normal practice' or this could be interesting,either that or he is worried we may sink it - only joking.

We climb in and take up our positions (Ali is sure she will be the one who falls out) a quick training session in the commands to follow, lean this way, boom boom means hang on and lean into the boat - hoping to get plenty of those! and of course FORWARD or BACK that means we have to work. Off we go and it is great fun, splashing of other people on the river is obviously a given (well by us anyway). We only got stuck up on a boulder once and as you can imagine 5 chicks in a boat and a guide yelling "BACK" as we are killing ourselves laughing must have been a sight, eventually Lous call breaks through the noise "PADDLE BACK" oh yeah okay, and digging in we drag ourselves off the boulder and continue our ride. The ride finishes with us being able to jump out of the raft and ride the current to the finish point on a river bank. Great fun, a bit of exercise which is good and beautiful scenery. I would have loved more hardcore rapids but thats just how I am.

Of course now we have to get back up from river level, yep you got it Climb, climb, climb only with an added challenge, trying to get by all the hawkers - "wanna buy a wooden elephant,or maybe a carved bike etc etc etc". No, but is anyone selling thongs? my bloody feet are not too good on these paths - no I don't want a sarong I want some thongs, head down ignore them - no thanks, no thanks, no thank you, hang on look back over the shoulder and NOOOOOOO Manda don'y do it. Yep she stops and starts to haggle for a sarong, gets a great bargain but now the others are like sea gulls after a hot chip, and Manda is the hot chip. We basically end up running up this pathway to the top and our fitness holds up for us as we leave the poor ladies chasing us gasping for precious oxygen. Don't get me wrong the sarongs are gorgeous but how many can you buy?

A shower and great feed, then it's off to the elephant park. What amazing creatures, they are huge and we feed them, pat them have photos with them and then go for a ride on them around the grounds. They are so quiet, for such a large animal they tread so softly and you rock and sway in your seat, very relaxing and although I am not a big fan of animals in captivity these elephants do appear to be really adored by their handlers. A couple of babies are around and another one is on its way later this year. We finish our visit with a coffee and then it is back into our bus to head home.

A full on day but so much fun and we are all sitting in the bus with smiles on our faces and I have never seen everyone so relaxed, but our day isn't over yet!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Better late than never Bali continued

We awake to the most amazing view across mountains shrouded in mist. A very quick shower in our outside bathroom and off to brekkie.

Breakfast is served in a beautiful outside area in between rice paddy fields. A fresh fruit smoothie and banana pancakes yummy a nice cup of lemongrass tea and relaxed conversation - what a way to start the day.

A bit of exploring and then we all head off with our bamboo walking poles for a 2hour hike through the local hills and village. A bit challenging in some places but absolutely refreshing to see life in its most basic form.

Lunch is amazing and as we will experience every meal is made from local fresh produce with very little meat and almost no dairy. Fresh vegies abound and the colours and flavours are a wake up call for your taste buds - the food all has a little bit of bite to it but you get used to it very quickly and remember spicy foods speed up the metabolism heehee.

That afternoon is a cooking class to see how our delicious meals are prepared - it inspires us all to get into some fresh cooking when we get home.

A session of Yoga on the balcony with views to the mountains - it is a fantastic session and our teacher has us in some unbelievable positions and we have an awesome view of the sun beginning to set.

A relaxing dinner and early to bed because tomorrow is our big volcano climb.

3.30AM Wakey wakey rise and shine! Skins and camelbacks and off we go. A decent drive - with less on the roads at this time of the morning and we arrive at a friend of Wayans and Karens who has his own bed and breakfast and fish restaurant.
An introduction to Indonesian toilets with plenty of giggles from Amanda and myself. Our guides arrive and off we go. It is still pitch black and we are given torches a short walk through the town and then into the greenery we go. One of the guides is concerned we are going too fast and we will not make it to the top - haha he obviously hasn't meant the clients and trainers fron body4u. Half way up we take a moment to look out across the volcanic crater and lake below us it is breath taking. The morning mist is beginning to clear and it is just gorgeous.

Onward and upward until we finally reach the summit. In time for the sunrise. We buy a coke each (yeah a coke) and Lou a bali coffee which is in a bloody massive glass and as thick as mud. The local girls climb the volcano every day and set up stalls to sell you these drinks so it is the least we can do to buy one. We take our fresh eggs over the edge onto a ledge and place them into a little hole which is spewing out steam from the semi active volcano beneath our feet. Leave them there for a short while and we have nice freshly cooked eggs and bread for brekkie.

Time to leave and with thoughts of cliffhanger in my mind we walk along a very small ridge line to begin our descent. Where is the chopper to take some great pictures of us? Some singing and laughing and we reach the bottom - all of us taking a look back to actually see where we have been and where we have just come from. Great job guys!

We now head to a spa resort to swim, soak in the hot pools and eat. Followed by a fresh fish lunch at our friends place. The hospitality of the local people is lovely. With our tummies full and feeling very relaxed and invigorated at the same time we head back to our home for a few more days.

When we get back to Ayung Sari Indah we all sit on the balcony with wine and lemongrass tea and one by one have the most incredible thai massage with a local healer called Pak Gadang. Another experience that adds to the already wonderful time we are having.

Dinner and another great night of conversation, relaxation and wonderful food and off to bed.

Stay tuned more to come night night!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sharing Bali Part 1

Just returned after a fab few days in Bali at a wonderful place called Ayung Sari Indah.

If I wrote everything I would be here for a month so I will try to keep it to maybe a week, ok a bit less then.........A few installments I think.

It all started on Thursday last week with Brekkie at the Coffee Club, followed by a stretched limo ride to the airport with my intrepid travelling companions Amanda, Alison, Louise and Karen.

A flight to Darwin with a few hours to kill in their massive airport - not! So we end up in the little tavern having a wine. Already plenty of laughs. Onto our flight to Denpasar - none of us have experienced such a noisy flight and with plenty of alcohol already consumed by half the people onboard it was only going to get better the longer the flight went. Oh the joys of flying Jet Star!

We arrive at Denpasar airport go through customs and Lou gets taken into a little office becuase she has 3 bottles of wine instead of 2. We all wait, just a tad nervous and with fleeting thoughts of "you know who (Schapelle)". 200,000 rupiah later Lou emerges wine still in hand. We then get round the corner from customs to a row of about 30 money changers all calling out to us. Every window offers the same exchange rate so pick a window any window and come away with over 1 million rupiah which is only around $200 but we were still happy to millionaires in our own minds!

Out into the fresh air - only its not too fresh with smoking still allowed everywhere. The clouds have opened up and it is pouring, absolutely torrential. Karen W from Ayung Sari Indah (ASI I will use for short) spots us and eventually we traipse through ankle deep water to her partner and fellow host Wayan and climb into the car for our trip to ASI.

Holy moly this was the most intense 1+ hours in a vehicle any of us has experienced. They drive on the same side of the road as us - well they are supposed to but basically they drive wherever they like dodging bikes, dogs, people, signs, pilesof timber or rocks, you name it we swerved it. Lots of toot tooting on the horn. Eyes wide like scared rabbits in headlights is what we all looked like - this would have been a great you tube video! But guess what we made it totally unscathed and now with our jaws hanging open at the beautiful sight of ASI. Now midnight aussie time it was hard to fully appreciate our wonderful surroundings but that which we could see was lovely. We were led to our bungalows and although these bungalows would become really homely it was a little bit of a culture shock. Unable to really get settled it was time to go straight to bed. It was surprisingly cold and felt quite damp obviously due to the humidity during the day. I would liken the beds to futons a little higher, with mattresses quite hard it made for some funny bedtime joking. Outside bathrooms, so sitting on the toilet surrounded by jungle noises late at night can be a bit spooky first time around. Oh yeah and if someone looked over from the balcony they would see you - or you would see them first and yell out that you were on the toilet, well Amanda did a couple of times until we got into the habit of letting our roomies know we were "GOING TO THE TOILET". Have to say though by the end of the trip it all seemed quite normal. We did still have power and running water so it wasn't totally back to nature without any modern amenities.

So finally off to sleep and awaiting the days ahead.

I will be back with Day 1 soon - log back on it is worth the read I assure you

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's been a while!

I am back.
Things have been moving along nicely at body4u since the New Year New You challenge and we are currently into our next 8 week challenge in the club. With around 30 entrants it is shaping up (pardon the pun) to be an interesting few weeks ahead.
Next week I will be flying off to Bali with a great group of ladies to experience Sharing Bali. A wonderful retreat just outside Ubud up in the hills. Apart from an amazing time anticipated by all we will actually be doing a recce to see about offering our clients bootcamp retreats, incorporating exercise, healthy living and relaxation all in one - interested? well keep checking my blogs for more info.
Also happening at the moment is the training for our Kokoda challenge race which is taking place down the coast in the Hinterlands. It is a fund raising event and takes us on a 96km journey with only 39 hours to complete it. Myself and the rest of my trusty team, Darren, Richard and Brooke are hoping to do it in 20 hours or less. Fingers crossed.
A few hours run/walk tonight followed by about 6 hours in the hills on Sunday - very wet hills I imagine is all part of the fun in store for us.
Gotta go for now be back soon with news of our adventures - take care and remember to make someone smile> :-)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'd Like To Thank!

I would like to thank everyone involved in this New Year New You Challenge but some special thank yous for Darren for his never ending support and for making all of this possbile, my kids for being so patient and making do without me so often. Richard and Amanda for all the hard work and effort they have put in. All the rest of the body4u team for their encouragement and support of the challenge. A big thank you to the partners and families of those involved for countless weekends away from them.
A special thank you needs to go to 2 of our wonderful clients Brett and Alison King for sponsoring the Bridge Climb today, thank you so much.
Last but not least thank you to Greg and Annette for being great sports and for putting in the effort required to achieve their goals, I will certainly miss our weekend adventures and I wish you both all the best in your future goals for a healthy and long life - keep up the good work.
Cheers Ang.x