#85, #86, #87, #88… Back into the swing of things

Day Eighty Four (octogesimo quarto dia)

Thursday (Quinta-feira) … December 26th

The gym was closed but I didn’t care because my legs were still dying from not running (and trying to the day before). After I took Romeo for a walk I knew I was not going to even bother trying again. I took John’s iPad to our third floor loft-style living room that we never, ever, ever use to do some YouTube yoga. After 45 minutes of stretching out I felt a lot better than I had in days. I hadn’t realized that taking 8 days off (with one small hallway workout in the middle) would mess up my routine so royally. John and I went off to get dog food and detergent (we had neither). I noticed on my walk earlier that Pic Nic was closed, too. John and I brought Romeo with us and walked first to Antonio’s to get dog food, but they were closed. We continued walking to Casa Cheia. Closed. We walked back up toward ALKE and checked Barraca. Closed. Last stop: Fatima’s. We walked to the top of the hill under the guys’ apartment. John said, “Ooh! Lize—we’re in luck. They’re open!”. Liar. They were closed, too. We went home as empty-handed as we left. I had bought some food before we left, but only of the frozen meat variety. We had three papos secos, but no vegetables, fruits, or anything to eat it with. John made rice for Romeo and we put a scoop of the soup Lina’s mother brought over to give it some flavor.

After my yoga sesh and lunch, I felt up to running. I took Romeo with me and we (barely!) completed three miles. The mistake I made the day before was in trying to go uphill, so I stayed away from that as best that I could. It wasn’t pretty, and I never eat before I run so more than my legs, it was my belly that was uncomfortable. I could feel my corn flakes and soy milk sloshing around.

I went home and got ready for my first class back at ALKE. They worked out once in the week that I was gone, so even though the 26th is still pretty much a holiday here, we had decided to hold class. People go from house to house “visiting” (read: drinking) around the holidays. They go to friends’ houses, ring the doorbell, and ask some variety of “o xixi do menino Jesus?” which roughly translates to “Does baby Jesus pee?” They then go inside for a drink. I can’t make this shit up.

I had five ladies and I worked out with them too. We did:


When I got home, John was not there. He had gone down to Cesar’s bar (no absinthe!!) to watch the Liverpool game with Majid before I left. His flats were gone, so I assumed he went to play futsol, which he did. I made myself a couple of eggs and had cereal for dessert. Jackie, Nikki, and Gunter FaceTimed me before John got home. I am missing my friends and family!


Day Eighty Five (octogesimo quinta dia)

Friday (Sexta-feira)

Semana Doze

Going to Barcelona has gotten us in the habit of waking up at a more reasonable time. We got up around 8:00am and I put my game face on to go for a run. I wanted to do 4 or 5 miles Friday, rest Saturday, and hopefully do 6 or 7 Sunday.

When John came home last night he tried to unlock the door while my key was hanging in the other side. We learned the hard way at least two months ago that this doesn’t work. I went down and let him in, but then this morning the key wouldn’t come out at all unless the door was locked—which made leaving the apartment somewhat difficult. Luckily for me John was going to be home while I ran.

Romeo came with me for the first two. I tried a hill (the beginning of lomba de cavaleiro) and my calves cramped up again. When I dropped Romeo off, John spent a few minutes with both keys in the door (one in the outside, one on the inside) turning them back and forth, hoping to reset whatever we had thrown off kilter. After about four minutes, he had fixed the door. I don’t know how he does it—the man literally has more patience in his pinky finger that I have in my entire body. I went off to finish two more miles, very thankful for the break. I felt great the second half (segunda metade).

We went over to the gym (FINALLY) and did three supersets, four rounds each:

  • DB bench to (L)SB knee tuck & pike (J) Decline push-up
  • Pull-ups to (L) Deadlifts (J) Lat pull-downs
  • 20 full sit ups (w/10kg), 20 leg lifts, 15/15, 10/10, 5/5

I was beginning to feel human again. Traveling is exhausting.

Off to Pic-Nic for a galao (the best coffee is in Portugal, don’t let anyone tell you different). And finally, finally, to Fatima’s (which was open). We went to Antonio’s first to grab dog food and then stocked up at Fatima’s on real produce so we could eat real food. Fatima usually sells Lina & Ernesto’s bananas, but Ernesto told us the weather hasn’t been good for bananas. Fatima didn’t have any so I got a whole bunch of some that had been imported from Costa Rica.

We went home and I immediately set about having a big bowl of cornflakes with two Costa Rican bananas and soy milk. It was amazing. Humanity. I also was finally able to do laundry—Romeo had slept in our bed all week and made a bed with our blanket on the floor. I only had enough detergent to do a tiny bit of our vacation-laundry so I had some catching up to do. I also went about mopping the whole apartment.

In honor of having real food, I took some frozen bone-in chicken breast out to defrost. I wanted to make a garlic-infused olive oil chicken and pasta. Thanks to Pinterest, it was easy.

I made hummus and prepped the chicken before I left for class. I peeled all those little chickpeas again, but this time I set up my kindle so I could read (The Shoemaker’s wife) while I did it. After I finally finished that, I got to work making the sauce for the chicken: two minced garlic cloves, a couple swirls of olive oil, sauteed until the garlic was “golden”. I put the garlic-infused olive oil in a bowl and added two spoonfuls of brown sugar. I drizzled it on the chicken and headed off to ALKE.

This night I had six women, and I worked out with them again. We did:


I went home and threw the chicken in the oven. I made some more garlic-infused olive oil (sans brown sugar) for the pasta. It ended up being kind of plain—next time I would make more sauce and probably add butter, too. I was afraid of making the pasta too oily, so I didn’t use very much. The chicken was moist, but probably could have used a little more marinade, too. John is kind and told me it was good while he washed the dishes. We tried to Skype with this little cherub, but we missed his mama:


Day Eighty Six (octogesimo sexta dia)

Saturday (Sabado)

Having struggled through my last three runs I decided to give it a rest and just hit the gym with John. I would try for at least 6 miles on Sunday. We woke up early(ish) again and after John walked Romeo and we had some tea and coffee, we headed to the gym right at 10:30am when they open. We brought the TRX and took turns doing four rounds of three supersets:

  • TRX trail leg hops to TRX rows
  • TRX Flys and Ys to TRX roll outs
  • TRX knee tucks toTRX leg curls

Ernesto had the best of the 90s music channel on. Nothing makes a work-out more fun than belting out “Don’t Stop Believing” and “It Must Have Been Love”.

We strolled down to Pic-Nic for galaoes and I felt even more human today. We went home and I started to get dinner ready. The weather has turned quite cold (muito frio) here in Povoacao, so I decided to make chili. Now, my mom is far from the best cook in the world (sorry, mama) but her chili is pretty bomb. I made a Portuguese variety based on my supplies: piri piri sauce instead of chili powder, no celery and no crock pot. I also used two fresh tomatoes instead of canned diced. I had a 15oz. can of kidney beans, but when I went to open them, the pop-top came off without the top. Damnit. I couldn’t use the can opener, because the pop-top-top was too thick. John came in and saved the day (again). He somehow used a knife and fork and pried the lid open. Genius. I sauteed an onion, browned the hamburg, chopped the tomatoes, and rinsed the beans. I added some tomato paste, salt, pepper, and piri piri sauce. I let it cook for about 6 hours.

John and I headed back to Pic-Nic for some game. He had a Pic-Nic burger, but I am still attempting to detox from vacation so I had uma sopa e salada. John made plans to play futsol with a bunch of guys so I finally had some time to catch up on my blog. I wrote a lot while we were away, but never had anything finished enough to actually post. Of course, by the time I post this, all my Barcelona stuff will be up. Oh, time, you are fickle.

John brought Majid home for dinner and we slurped down my chili. After my chicken semi-fail, I came back strong tonight.

Day Eighty Seven (octogesimo setimo dia)

Sunday (Domingo)

I was in bed by 8:00pm Saturday and even though I was awake for a while, I didn’t get out of bed until 10:00am. I took my sweet time getting ready, too—the weather was looking a little sketchy, rainy and windy, so I was waiting it out. And after walking Romeo and having my cha verde (now I buy the tea that is made on the island, here in Gorreana), we headed off to run. Sometimes Romeo is a good running buddy, sometimes he is not. Depending on how much he wants to pee, chase cats, kill birds, etc. This time he was a phenomenal running buddy, so I kept him with me for three miles. I ended up finishing 10k in just under an hour. It’s official: I am human. I came home and rewarded myself with nutella and banana pancakes. Bam.


There were some games on, so we headed to Pic-Nic. I never really watch them, I just bliggity-blog away while John and whoever else is in there watches and exclaims. I can only tell you that Arsenal lost and Liverpool lost (editor’s note: upon reading this, John informed me that Arsenal, in fact, won). It started pouring while we were there, so we timed our exit according to the whims of Azorean weather. Once it lightened up a little we ran home. I made a Portuguese shake-n-bake chicken for dinner, which took a while because I had to translate (iTranslate, not Google translate) all the directions to make sure I did it right.

We tried to watch The Spectacular Now (the first 25 minutes were GREAT) but then it stopped loading. I think I recommend it. Instead, we ended up Skyping with my parents, and then Keith, Nicole, and baby Alex.


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