Day Forty Four…Liza strikes back & Mira Mar takes on Nordeste

Day Forty Four.. (quadragesimo quarto dia) 

Semana Sete

Romeo and I awoke leisurely, I had my tea and put my game face on, and then we went out for our long run, which I guess I have permanently moved to Saturdays. He came for his normal 1.8 mile loop, I dropped him off, chug-a-lugged some water, and headed for the hills. Literally. Not one to let anything or anyone stop me from doing something, I needed to conquer the running path that struck me down last week. After I dropped Romeo I doubled-back through the vila so I would have 3 miles done before I hit the lombas. I ended up stopping back at the apartment at 2.5 miles to drop my phone off. I grabbed it when I dropped Romeo off to take pictures but I hate wearing an armband and I’m not carrying my phone for 8 miles, sorry guys. No pictures.

I headed for the lombas and did my normal turn-off-at-lomba-de-pos-for-respite and then continued onwards. This section of lomba do alcaide is the hardest section of hill running I have encountered here, save for maybe lomba de pomar where I ran my very first run and have not been back since. Once I reach Lina’s street it is basically smooth sailing. I ran all the way to the end of lomba do alcaide this time planning on running my tree-tunnel-gravel-road through to its end. I ran like there might be ice lingering under each step I took, but I did it. The ground was so soft and the rocks jut out so far I found it slightly distracting to my beautiful surroundings because I kept my gaze mostly downward. After about a mile the rocks got smaller, the road levels off its descent, and the terrain is mostly smooth. The tree-tunnel looped all the way around to the very very end of lomba de loucao. There was some more tree-tunnel path that continued on, but I couldn’t tell where it would lead and there were no signs. I hung a left at a house I later described to John as looking like a princess house. Why? He wanted to know. What makes it a princess house? Oh, you know, because it is pink and stone and has turrets. Unlike the other mansions out here which are white and stone with turrets. Seriously.

I was a little hesistent because I wasn’t totally sure this was lomba de loucao because as-per-usual, there were no signs. About a mile–a mile and a half?–after I had turned at the princess house I saw the V-shaped hill I would’ve traveled if I hadn’t taken the tree-tunnel. I was on lomba de loucao. I descended all the way into the vila and after one small loop at the bottom finished 1:45:00. I am calling it 10ish miles because I don’t really know and that sounds good. On a nice flat course I can do 10 in 1:30:00, so this seems reasonable. I feel good, except that it was kind of cold and windy at the top of the lombas and my shirt is not only wet from sweat, but wet from being used as a tissue. #runnerproblems

When I finally made it home the only thing I wanted was Gatorade. GATORADE! How American. I settled for a gulp of John’s peach iced tea and then water. I had a bowl of cereal with soja leite and two peanut butter balls. I don’t like to eat before a long run (unless it’s race day), so I was famished. John wasn’t feeling well, and he has to be at the complex for at least 6 hours tonight, so he was taking it easy. At some point, we walked down to Pic-Nic so he could have a cafe before Pedro picked him up. I had my one galao but when I was done with it, Ricardo brought me another one “on him”. I know he is super nice and likes me and John a lot, but I think this particular gesture has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the peanut butter ball I gave him yesterday. You may think I’m being dramatic, but they are that good.

John went off to find Pedro and I walked home to be domestic. I wanted to make sauce so that when we got home at 11:00pm we could have dinner ready. And I wanted to sweep the house and mop the bathroom floor. And walk Romeo. Then I gathered my things: snacks which consisted of a Lara Bar and Halloween Pretzels, warm clothes, and, of course, my Mira Mar scarf. I headed off for the complex.

Upon not seeing anyone, I walked all the way up to the complex. Which from the bottom is maybe a 5:00 run, so I believe it to be less than a half mile. By the time I got to the top I was down to my tank top and on the verge of sweating. People in the stands probably thought I was crazy because they’ve been wearing long sleeves and floral leggings since October 1st. I settled into a seat in the back and watched the junior game. John and Ken, officially on the roster as coaches, were on the sidelines. I know they have been working hard as coaches to get the juniors to play together. The Mira Mar juniors were playing the Aguia junior team from Arrifes where the senior Mira Mar team played last weekend. It was an incredible game; edge-of-your-seat exciting. They played really well, came from being down 2-0, and tied 2-2. Well, I thought they had tied. Turns out in the 10 minutes I missed one of the Mira Mar players got a red card (third game as coaches and three red cards: one each game) and then the other team scored on the penalty kick. Mira Mar played almost the whole game one man down. They lost 3-2, but I celebrated like it was a tie. Serenela, Marcelo, and his girlfriend showed up somewhere in the middle of the second half. Marcelo got up toward the end of the game and said he was going to get ready. I was so excited—Marcelo never plays, is never even on the roster—“You’re playing?” I asked. “No,” he replied, “But I’m going to put my uniform on and sit my ass over there.”

Mira Mar was sporting there new kits for the new season:


After a 30 minute intermission, the seniors took the field. Since it is the first regular season game, the whole complex was packed. A lot of fans drove from Nordeste, too, including a one-man-band who played the drums 90% of the game.

I sat with Serenela who is from Nordeste and said she wanted both teams to win, but after a few minutes it was clear she was rooting for Mira Mar. Ken will blog in great detail, but the key elements of the game were as follows:

  1. John rolled his ankle five minutes in and limped around for 10, briefly got ice and, deciding he could continue to play, did just that.
  2. Shortly after he stopped limping, he went up for a header near the goal and the goalkeeper accidentally punched him in the nose. He played on. Still.
  3. Ken went up for a header that an opposing player decided to high kick but kicked Ken’s face instead. He played on.
  4. After two incredibly exciting halves, with Mira Mar scoring the first goal then falling 2-1, they tie the game up with 10 minutes to go in regulation time.
  5. Adam came in for John.
  6. 30 seconds left in stoppage time, Adam got a red card.
  7. Game over. Tied 2-2. Crowd went nuts.
  8. John brought Ken over for dinner and announced that we were going to drink beers to celebrate Mira Mar not-losing.
  9. The three of us went to Pic-Nic and celebrated not-losing with 5 colossal beers, 1 small bottle of Heineken and 3 shots.
  10. And drinking games.
  11. Our tab was €8.50.



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