Days 140, 141, 142… “There’s a slug in my salad” and more tales from the Azores.

Day One Hundred Forty (dia um centena de quarente)


21 Fevereiro 2014

I had 5 miles to do before we hit the gym. I took Romeo on the first mile and then trudged along alone—either I was still feeling Leg Day or I am just fatigued from my sniffles (which were pretty much gone).

Friday: circuit day. We each chose two exercises to perform at 50 reps for a 300 workout. John chose curl-squat-press and SB leg curls, Ken chose downward cable rotations (50 each side!!) and hanging rotational knee tucks (25 each side). I chose alternating V-ups (25 each) and laying leg raises. Although we finished quickly, it was definitely difficult. Afterwards we headed off to Pic Nic to recuperate.

I am on this huge sauteed veggies and egg kick, so when we got home I made myself an enormous scramble and then showered.


I then tried (once again) to make corn flour tortillas (this would be my third attempt. Correction: third failed attempt.) I moved on to eat the black bean hummus I had made the night before—super delicious. While the corn flour tortillas ended up more like polenta, covered in my homemade PB and an Azorean banana, it still managed to satisfy my bread craving.


Since we stopped eating dinner at 11:00 at night, we got out of eating together at 5:30pm as well. It’s too early for me—when I get back from teaching Estou cheia de fome!! (straight translation: I am full of the hunger). John usually doesn’t even have a snack before practice, then gets home famished and eats a few PB&Js or a giant bowl of cereal. I, alternatively, have been coming home and making feel-good clean eats after class, but just for myself. Determined to form a better pattern, Friday I made a big bag of chicken drumsticks, with rice and veggies for him to eat before practice. I also walked down to the fruit market where I found eggplant. This is a giant score.

After I walked to the fruit market and finished making John’s dinner, I prepped for myself: rehydrated tofu flakes, cauliflower “rice”, and a diced onion. I was going to make myself some “fried” “rice” after class.

John headed off to practice and I went over to ALKE. Inspired by our morning workout, I put them through a 300 routine as well. Ten exercises, 30 reps of each, with a 1:00 plank (front, side, reverse, hands, elbows… etc) in between each set. Modifications included wall sit and jumping rope. Lola told me she had gotten avocados at the fruit market. Avocados? My eggplant were no longer seeming like a giant score. Except for some decidedly un-ripe guacamole Lina made for us when we first got here, I have not had an avocado in almost 5 months. She told me she had bought 3, and that there were at least 4 more. I planned to check on Saturday.


I love these ladies. I am going to miss each and every one of them.


I got home and whipped up my tofu and cauliflower “rice”. Which was delicious, but not enough food. I ended up satueing a bunch of veggies and (another!) egg to eat, too. I was going to clean the apartment, which I usually do on Saturdays, but I was exhausted. I was in bed with the light off when John got home from practice. #thisisfridaynight

Day One Hundred Forty One (dia um centena de quarenta e um)

Saturday (Sabado)

22 Fevereiro 2014

I got up around 8:30am to prepare for my long run. I had just gotten dressed and boiled water for my green tea when Ken texted John to say he was at Pic Nic. Ken’s friend, Tori, had arrived from Boston at 7:00am and Ken had gone to pick her up. After determining that nothing in the city was open and the weather was not that nice, they had come right back to Povoacao. John and I got ready to go (which involved me eating a spoonful of homemade peanut butter and grabbing a banana). We had to take Romeo for a walk first anyway, so we grabbed our empty water jugs and filled them up in the spring water spigot near Ken’s apartment while we did so. After we dropped Romeo back off we went to meet Ken and Tori.

Tori lives in New York but grew up in Connecticut and went to RISD. She had not slept at all when we met her, so after a quick cafe (and, in my case, shoving a banana gracefully down my throat) they took off so she could get settled. I had told Ken about the avocados, so they stopped in at the fruit market but told me later they had no more avocados. I took off for my 12 miles in the lombas and John and Ken went to their respective homes briefly, because some English Premier League game was on at 11:45am.

I was a little nervous about my run since I’d been dragging all week. I also got used to putting my rest day before my long run day as a preparation, rather than after. It wasn’t raining out, but the wind was really intense. This ended up working completely in my favor as the wind was blowing in from the water, and was thus hitting my back whenever I ran uphill. I had my fastest lomba run (and probably solo-long-run) to date.

When I got back I ate one of my homemade protein bars and took a warm shower (it had started to sprinkle at the very end of my run). Once I was clean, I went to cleaning the apartment and then making myself pancakes. #willrunforpancakes


I was trying to get ready quickly so I could get to Pic Nic for the Arsenal game at 2:00pm. Not because I give two hoots about Arsenal, but so Tori wouldn’t have to sit through a second soccer game with just John and Ken. I was sort-of-almost about to get dressed when John came home and announced that Pic Nic couldn’t play the Arsenal game because they don’t get the right channel. He also said that Tori was still napping, so then I didn’t feel quite as bad for not having left the apartment.

He had come home with a box of pastries. It was Rui’s birthday the day before (we totally missed it). We had seen Rui at Pic Nic that morning and he had reminded us. We said happy birthday to him, and also that we were sorry. “Parabens! Desculpa!” John bought him a cafe.

When John went back to Pic Nic an hour or so later, Rui presented him with a box of pastries and, just as quickly, turned around and left Pic Nic. I went to making some more chocolate-sweet-potato-”cookies” because I didn’t want to eat those treats. #eatcleantrainmean

Since the Arsenal game wasn’t on at Pic Nic and it had started to absolutely down pour after John’s return, we didn’t leave the house for the rest of the day.


We were planning to have Toronto Night’s pizza for dinner, but when we walked Romeo over a little before 6:00pm no one was there. No one was at Lina’s mom’s house either, so we decided to eat leftovers. I roasted up the eggplant I had gotten at the fruit market and put my leftover meat sauce on top to make little Italian treats. John heated up some of the drumsticks, and I made some more Tofu and “rice” with onions and zucchini. And a big fat salad.

When I was cutting up the lettuce for the big-fat-salad to put in my relatively new salad spinner I had spotted something brown on a lettuce leaf. At first I thought it was just a piece of soggy lettuce leaf, but upon closer inspection I saw what it really was: a slug. A SLUG. I began yelling frantically to John, who was in the bedroom: “JOHN. JOHN. JOHN. COME HERE. COMEHERERIGHTNOW.” He ran into the kitchen where I pointed with my carving knife (thanking god that I hadn’t chopped the damn thing in half!.

John watched quietly as I point down the knife and grabbed a paper towel to grab the slug with. Just as I went to reach for it, he “caw-caw”-ed loudly. I began screaming obscenities at him as he rolled onto the floor and then on to his back laughing. And crying. Once he finally got his act together, and I stopped screaming, he picked the slug up and threw it away. I finished washing the lettuce. #theshowmustgoon

That was pretty much the most exciting thing to happen to us on a Saturday night in a while. After we ate, we watched Disney’s “Up”, which I had never seen but John and Ken were quoting earlier in the week. As soon as it was finished I read one chapter of my David Sedaris book (laughing periodically), John walked Romeo, and we all went to bed.


Day One Hundred Forty Two (dia um centena quarenta e dois)

Sunday (Domingo)

23 Fevereiro 2014

Since my Nike+ Coach has moved my long-runs to Saturday (and the gym isn’t open on Sundays) I am trying to embrace my rest days. I got up early enough to take Romeo for a stroll around the whole vila and do a tiny bit of DIY kitchen yoga (which is harder than it sounds because Romeo thinks that just because I’m on the floor, I want to play. And by “play” I mean have him scratch my head and run into me repeatedly). John had a juniors’ game at 11:00am and the seniors were playing at 3:00pm. I was just really glad they were both home games.

After he took off for the complex I finished getting ready and then walked up to Ken’s apartment to get picked up with Tori. She told me Ken had texted her saying Pedro would be by a little after 11:00am. So we waited. Around 11:45am I asked how she felt about walking—it really isn’t that far, the sun was out, and I wanted to see at least one half of the juniors game. We started our uphill journey.

About halfway up lomba do Cavaleiro Pedro pulled up in his rental van. He had gone to my apartment and to Ken’s apartment and hadn’t found us. He plays pick-up soccer on Sunday mornings, and that was where he had been. We piled in and made it up in time to see the second half.

I had no idea what the score was, and I didn’t recognize any Mira Mar fans as English-speakers. I saw our crazy fan lady, Pedro’s mom. Pedro got a red card last weekend after the juniors’ game was over. I didn’t even know you could get a card after a game was over. He will be out for the next three games. Two other players got red cards, so John’s line-up was a little different this day. We got to see Saco score for Mira Mar (he left his shirt on this time) and Santa Clara score at least three times. Rui came and sat with us and kept speaking in Portuguese. I said “Falas Ingles, Rui! I don’t speak Portuguese.” When suddenly the sweet teenage girl sitting behind me said, “He’s asking if you’re going to watch the second game”. English?!” I said, “You speak English?” and she nodded politely, “What’s the score?”

At that point, it was 5-1 (including Saco’s goal). The game finished 7-1. Santa Clara is an incredible club, well-known and well-funded, and with Mira Mar missing three of their starting players, 7-1 wasn’t a terrible loss.

I tried to give Tori the low-down on who was who in the Mira Mar cast of characters. We had two hours before the seniors’ played, so we told Pedro we were walking down for lunch and he said he would drive us back up for the second game. We, along with Rui, started our descent.

Rui, who had generously given John his birthday pastries the day before, extracted from his pocket two keychains: one was a whale that said “Villy” for me, and another similar for Tori. We thanked him and wondered where they came from.

About halfway down the lomba, Pedro pulled over with the van, already containing two juniors players (Jose, and I don’t know who else) along with Ken and John. We jumped in, too, and it was not until we were sitting inside Pic Nic that I realized Rui had not gotten in the van with us. About 15 minutes later he walked in and sat down at the table next to us.

We all got omelets, which is something Ken regularly orders there but John and I had never gotten. I got mine just like I get my pizza; loaded with ham and veggies, sin queijo. It was delicious. We all got cafes and we heard Pedro honk from outside. The boys left in a hurry for their own game and Tori and I took our time leaving. We still had an hour before Pedro was coming back for us.

We paid our tab and walked back to my place to get Romeo. Tori loved him immediately (seriously, who doesn’t?) and Romeo made sure to put a show on for her. He was howling and hopping, running on the bed and snuggling. I put his collar on and we walked to Ken’s apartment. Tori needed to get some euros, so she grabbed her card and we walked down to one of the ATMs. While it was still very sunny, the wind was picking up. We walked Romeo home and headed back to the jardim to meet Pedro.

We walked over to the box where we found Glebiana with Mufasa and Serenela with her dog, Wendy.

liza&mufasaThis is me and my friend, Mufasa

Because there is no sun on that side of the field, we were pretty cold for the next two hours. John and Ken both started (no more funny business) and Mira Mar began the game moving the ball around very well. Berto got taken out inside Aguia’s box and was awarded a penalty kick (the ref started out relatively fair), which he scored. They ended the first half Mira Mar: 1, Aguia: 0. In the second half, Mira Mar was awarded three free kicks, one right after the other. They were like Goldielocks shots: Ken took one and over shot it. Alex took one and kept it on the ground, which hit the wall of players. John took the third which was a beautiful shot, but the goalie frantically saved. Aguia hadn’t had any good opportunities yet, so when Marco headed a ball in a few minutes later, I thought the game was ours, even when Aguia scored with 15 minutes left. What I didn’t realize until Ernesto was driving us home was that the ref had (inaccurately) called Marco offsides.

John literally knocked knees with an Aguia player in the first half, but brushed it off. In the second half, one of their players elbowed him in the nose. The ref “didn’t see it”, but John was bleeding pretty profusely. I didn’t even see him go down, so I was surprised when the lovely lady who works at Euromotas (the store next to our apartment) leaned over to me and said, “John! John!” pointing to the far end of the field. I didn’t even know she knew who I was. I watched John get up, lean over, and bleed his way off the field. After several minutes of rinsing his nose with their spring water spigot, he returned to the game, only to be taken out with 10 minutes left. They still didn’t put Adam in, this marking at least the third game in a row he hasn’t played a minute of.

When the game was over (and my self-indulgent ass was cheering like we had won..mainly because I thought we had), Tori and I ran our cold bodies to Ernesto’s car. I had told her he always drives me home, like it is an unspoken agreement. Even though he tends to be the first person out of the complex, he has never left without me. I introduced Tori to him and to Kevin (who had scored the winning goal in his futsol match the night before) and then we got into the warm car. It was then that Ernesto told me the game had ended in a tie, and that Marco’s goal had been called offsides. Bummer.

He dropped us off and I immediately made my favorite Gorreana green tea for me and Tori to warm our souls. John and Ken got home shortly after and we all walked down to Pic Nic so that the boys could have their Sunday beers. I got more tea on account of still not being able to feel my toes.

After about an hour of sitting, I was starving. We discussed the food situation, and I knew I had plenty to feed everyone (especially knowing that we would go shopping the next day). I went home to start dinner alone. Tori offered to help, but I warned her that I get kind of Nazi-like in the kitchen. I would text them when it was almost ready.

I had pulled some meat out of the freezer before we had left for Pic Nic, but it was no where near defrosted. I plugged the sink, threw in the packaged meat, and began to fill it with warm water. Meanwhile, I chopped up my beloved eggplant, a zucchini, and red and green peppers to roast. All of a sudden I heard a “tic-tic-tic” sound that I could not identify. I looked toward the stove, and then to the sink. The water was still running and the sink was overflowing. There was water all over the counter and the floor, and a few minutes later I discovered it was also inside my drawers and cabinets. Lovely.

I mopped up what was on the floor and grabbed rags to wipe the rest. I continued cooking until I had roasted veggies, honey-soy-garlic pork, meat sauce, pasta, and salad. The boys and Tori came home and we feasted. Somehow, water was still dripping.

I found out Tori tries to eat clean, too. She doesn’t eat white flours or dairy. I told her about all my gluten-free, sugar-free baking experiments and failures and she tried one of my sweet potato cocoa cookies. She said it was good, but I know they are an acquired taste. We told the previous night’s story of the slug, and I couldn’t help but notice that after that, Tori didn’t eat any salad.


Days 131-135.. Valentine’s Day, Nordeste, and Mufasa the puppy.

Day One Hundred Thirty One (dia um centena de trinta e uma)

Wednesday (Quarta-feira)

12 Fevereiro 2014

I knew I was going to sleep in—I was so completely exhausted from our weekend of fun. I got up around 8:00am only because Romeo was freaking out. I walked him around one block in the rain, trying to hide my bedhead and raccoon eyes with the umbrella—this one block includes the high school at drop off and I looked like I was doing the walk of shame. Fortunately it was raining, otherwise the umbrella would’ve looked weird. 

I got back in bed expecting to roll around for a while but I must’ve fallen back asleep because the next thing I knew it was noon. Noon! John sounded like crap and said he felt similar. I started folding the laundry from the night before, making John tea, putting away the extra bedding, when I realized…. I forgot to return the rental car! I am falling victim to island time.

I grabbed the keys and my wallet and went screaming for the door. I still had to put gas in it to return it the way I had picked it up. I scooted around the vila to the gas station, put 10 euros in, and then finished the loop to 7 Lombas rent-a-car. Closed. It was lunch time.

I left the car outside the pet shop and walked over to the Farmacia where the man working modestly told me he spoke a little bit of English but then spoke better than I can most days. He helped me buy a cold and sinus medication for John, and also more pain killers because I had just given John our last two Aleve (the man made me promise I wouldn’t take them together). Six euros later I was walking home.

I finished my dilly-dallying and then took off for my 6 mile Fartlek. This one was a little harder than last week’s because instead of running hard for 3 minutes and easing off for 2, my intervals were 4 and 1. I felt a little slow to start, but I ended up having a great run, aside from one small factor.

It was kind of chilly when I took off, and was threatening to rain. I had thrown on a long sleeve shirt and my Red Sox hat but had to ditch them both back at home almost immediately as the sun came out. I had thrown my long sleeve over my pajama top—something I refuse to wear in public because it breaks my cardinal rule. Which doesn’t deal with wearing pj’s in public—I have a dog, I don’t always get dressed to take him out—but deals with wearing shirts that say obnoxious things. I finished my Fartlek wearing my leopard print “Look like a Beauty, Train like a Beast” tank top. #killme

When I got back I walked back to the rental car/pet shop which I made sure was open when I was finishing my run. The woman did not look pleased with me, and she gave me a very motherly-yet-stern look as she said “Yesterday. I thought you were returning the car yesterday.” I explained that we hadn’t gotten back from the city until 6:00pm and she told me she likes to leave by 5:00pm… she told me she had waited until 7:00pm for me! I was beginning to feel badly when she ‘fessed up that she had actually left to pick her daughters up and stopped by again for a little while before 7:00pm to see if I was there. She didn’t seem that mad and she didn’t charge me for an extra day. She just asked me if my parents had a nice time. Oh, Sao Miguel.

John had gotten up and said he was feeling better. We decided to go to the gym at 4:00pm. The boys had done leg day when we got back from Ribeira Grande the day before, but I had gone to teach class. They did some biceps and triceps and I struggled through legs:

  • front squats to box blasts
  • reverse lunge to Romanian deadlift

We finished up about the same time, so we reunited for core. Three rounds of :45 work/:15 rest:

  • navy seals
  • stability ball roll outs
  • weighted Russian twists

It was after 5:00pm by the time we got done, and I still wanted to hit the fruit market. The boys had double practices again so I was on my own for dinner. I bought peppers and zucchinis, and cooked them with the rest of the eggplant I had gotten in the city. I also made a giant bag of chicken legs so John could reheat the rest when he got home. I was going to shower before I headed back to ALKE, but I didn’t prioritize well enough.


After class I went home and indulged in my veggie platter. I tried to catch up on blogging, but that took me days longer. I made my first attempt at homemade Larabars and made some more Chia Almond PB balls. I didn’t follow the chia protein bar/Larabar recipe to a T: I used 1 cup of almonds (I didn’t have any pistachios), I omitted the protein powder, I used prunes instead of dates, I quadrupled the chia seeds and I used honey instead of coconut oil. They didn’t come out quite as solid as a regular Larabar would, but I thought they were really good.IMG_1843


I have been wondering how Leslie from Real Deal Snacks makes her PB balls into perfect little balls that aren’t sticky, so I tried putting oil on my hands and forming them into balls before baking them. Success.

   IMG_1845 IMG_1847


Day One Hundred Thirty Two (dia um centena de trinta e duas)

Thursday (Quinta-feira)

13 Fevereiro 2014

I got up to more wind and rain. I tried one of my homemade almond Larabars (delicious!) and John tried one, too. He told me he didn’t like this new diet I was on, and gave me the second half of his to finish (gladly). I told him that was bull shit and that I would enjoy my delicious Larbars and I’d make him some good, old fashioned, Toll House chocolate chip cookies. Then I wouldn’t have to share my treats.

I decided to run later, so John and I headed to the gym. Ken didn’t respond to our pleas to meet us (sleeping), so it was just the two of us. Back day:

  • 30 pull ups
  • single arm bent row @ 4 rounds
  • lat pull downs @ 4 rounds
  • reverse fly (I did back extensions) @ 4 rounds
  • 30 inverted rows

 We had decided to do all core for our Friday circuit training, so John didn’t want to do any today. I did three 1:00 planks and we called it a day. We headed off to Pic Nic quickly before I went running. I only had 3 miles to do, and I declined to take Romeo. When I got back I made chocolate chip cookies for John. Win-win.

I wasn’t teaching class because of Girlfriend’s day. A bunch of the ladies from my class (along with Carla and Paula) were having dinner at Toronto Night’s at 7:30pm followed by karaoke and a massive dance party. Sometime in the middle of the afternoon, the municipal of Povoacao announced a Red Alert. The winds were so intense they closed all of the schools early (along with Mira Mar’s practice). I got nervous that no one would go to Toronto, but Carla picked me up and everyone was present.

Lola’s cousin and his girlfriend were visiting from the states and Lola brought along the American girlfriend for dinner. I was excited to have another English-speaking friend at dinner, but it became apparent almost immediately that the only thing we had in common besides knowing Lola was a native language. We commiserated once on how all Portuguese beer tastes like Bud Light (because it does) and got called American by some of my Portuguese friends because we were screaming at each other. At home, I call it “talking”. I thought Portuguese people were loud, but I was reminded that it really is Americans who take the cake.

This was my first “cheat” meal since I started my “diet”. I have the occasional galao and gluten indulgence, but at Girlfriend’s dinner I over-indulged. I had three plates of fish filets, salad, coleslaw (OMG), and goiaba, and then Lina’s long-awaited cheesecake (OMG).


After I sang (screamed?) Heartless and Single Ladies, the party (sadly) died down before midnight. I kept begging my amigas to stay, but everyone had to work the next day. Girls left one after another until I was actually the only one left. Luisa promised to make me gluten-free mallasadas (Portuguese fried dough.. swoon) because she makes it for her daughter who has Celiac. I tried to explain that one of the reasons I don’t eat gluten is because then I don’t eat junk food like fried dough covered in sugar, but it fell on deaf ears.

They locked the door behind me and I walked home where I would’ve ordered Chinese food—had that been an option—but instead ate a king size chocolate bar with hazelnuts and a half a bag of Portuguese biscuits just to top off my “cheat” “meal”.

Day One Hundred Thirty Three (dia um centena de trinta e tres)

Friday (Sexta-feira)

14 Fevereiro 2014

Valentine’s Day


I had made plans to meet my new American friend for a run at 10:00am at Pic Nic. After I got up and quickly walked Romeo, John scooted out sans-Romeo. He had told me the day before—because he is no good at surprises—that he had gotten something for me and could pick it up after 9:00am on Friday. He came back a few minutes later with a half-dozen red roses. He said he had hidden some other goodies for me, so after a few more minutes of drawer-rifling, he added to the bouquet two cards he had made out of pictures of us. He had gone through all our magazines and cut out words like “love”, “loved”, and phrases such as “united with love”. They were the best cards I ever got.

He also gave me a pair of fuzzy socks which I had been saying I wanted for weeks now—not because I want to wear fuzzy socks, but because I think I can use them in lieu of booties for slideboard activities. They stretch a lot, so I think the ladies can put them on over their sneakers. John had missed the reason I wanted them, and kept telling me to wear them. When I finally obliged later in the day, we went into hysterics: they made me look like I had cankles.

After we had our morning Valentine’s day celebration, I ran over to Pic Nic. The weather was looking bleak and as soon as I got inside it started to hail. HAIL. I had been a little skeptical anyway that my new friend would show up, but now I was pretty certain she wouldn’t. I waited 10 minutes (which was actually enough time for the “Portuguese rain” to stop) and then went out for my 4-miler.

As soon as I got home from my run, the Azorean weather changed again and it began to pour. I had told John to meet me at Pic Nic in case my American friend did show up and we wanted a cafe post-run. I found him there with Ken, highly distressed because he couldn’t find his phone anywhere. He had already been to Ken’s to look around their apartment, where he had spent the evening before playing FIFA 2014 on Playstation while I was out drinking and screaming. He left Ken and I there to run home and look and then he ran to Ken’s again where he ultimately found it under the couch. #FIFAproblems

We walked to the gym in the freezing, sideways rain where I could not warm-up. I got on the bike (which I scarcely do) just to feel my toes again. We did 4 rounds of core:

  • 1:00 plank
  • 15 burpees
  • 15 sky divers
  • 15 hanging rotational knee tucks (each side)
  • 15 thread-the-needle planks (each side)
  • 15 sprinter’s crunches (each side)

 We headed home where John made me a bomb brunch of sauteed veggies and scrambled eggs.


We got in our sweatpants and were going to watch a movie but instead Facetimed with our friend Nicole and her son Alex. I almost lost an entire blog post and then found most of it and posted it. The movie would have to wait.

I had class (because people said they would come!) so I changed and headed out to teach (it had stopped raining). Leila and Daniella were the only ones who came. It was Daniela’s last class with me because she is returning to school on the continent on Monday. Leila is started an internship in Ponta Delgada on Monday, so I’m not sure how much she will be able to come.


I wasn’t planning on working out, but because it was them and it was their last class, we all worked out together.


Daniella told me that when we had been dancing the night before, I kept saying I just wanted to go home and eat cookies. Which is exactly what I did. While I was at class, John made a delicious dinner of pork with sauteed veggies (sempre) and sweet potato.


I had bought a box of strawberries at the fruit market the other day, but decided to put them on the counter instead of in the fridge. When I opened them up to cover them in chocolate on Friday, they looked more like my fuzzy socks than fruit. I cut up some bananas instead, which I covered in dark chocolate.


They weren’t that pretty, but they were delicious. We tried to watch About Time with Rachel McAdams, but the quality wasn’t that good. I fell asleep but John watched all of it and then told me what happened in the morning. This is the closest I’ve come to watching an entire movie in months. It was also the first Valentine’s Day I can remember that I didn’t put on make-up and I sat around in a pony and sweaties all day. Best.V-Day.Ever.


Day One Hundred Thirty Four (dia um centena de trinta e quatro)

Saturday (Sabado)

15 Fevereiro 2014

I got up, had a homemade Larabar and a banana, and took off for 10 miles in the warm sunshine (no more hail storms). Romeo came for a little while with me and when I dropped him off just before 2 miles, I was absolutely sure the sky was going to open and the rain was going to pour. However, by the time I took Romeo’s collar off, chugged some water, and turned around, the sun was shining again full-force.

I made it up lomba do Alcaide even though every week I doubt that I can. Instead of going down the tree-tunnel road, I turned around and went home the same way I had gone. I did one more lap around the vila and headed home.

One of the things I thought about while I was running (if you’ve never run for over an hour, by yourself, with no music, you’d be surprised what comes to mind when you do) was that I had no eggs for my post-run pancakes, and I should’ve asked John to get some while I was running.

When I got back home I was hoping he would run out for me, but he was just getting into the shower. He and Ken had to leave at 2:00pm for the juniors’ away game. It was already 1:00pm. So, I switched from sneaks to fit-flops and trudged down the street to Antonio’s. It is only a 5 minute walk down and back, but post-run it took me at least 15. I came home and made him regular buttermilk pancakes from the amazing Pinterest recipe I found when I was eating gluten, and then set out to make yet another gluten-free attempt at delicious pancakes for myself. I usually do this with some combination of banana and oats and peanut butter and eggs, but they end up very heavy. I bought almond flour when we went to the city last week and I had some corn flour. The result was sooooo delicious. It has made it’s way onto my Recipes page.


John took off for the game and I started my weekend cleaning binge. Romeo was still sleeping on our bed, which is the best place for him to be when I’m cleaning. Once I swept everywhere and wiped down all the surfaces, I mopped myself right out the door (coat on, purse in hand) and took my computer to Pic Nic while the floors dried.

My plan was to catch up on my blog, but soon after I arrived Majid came in to watch an English Premier League game. We ended up trading Valentine’s day stories and then I showed him my new love; Pinterest.

I went home and made sauce for me, John, and Ken for dinner. Once I had that all set, I took Romeo for a long walk. It was still so nice out and I needed to fill up a water jug, so I brought my phone and took pictures in one of my favorite spots above the river.

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John and Ken got home from the juniors’ game (who lost 6-0 and were awarded 3 red cards) and I kept my eyes open long enough to shove my face full of zucchini pasta and then I went directly to bed.


Day One Hundred Thirty Five (dia um centena de trinta e cinco)

Sunday (Domingo)

16 Fevereiro 2014


Aside only from New Years’ Day, this was the laziest, least productive day I’ve spent on this island.

Sometimes when I am lazy and tired in the morning, all I want is for John to walk Romeo. However, knowing it was going to be my only exercise for the day, I wanted to take him. We both ended up going with Romeo for a long walk (another warm day!) that included cafes outside Pic Nic and a trip to Fatima’s for almonds and cashews.

When we got back we had breakfast and John got ready to go to his game, which was also away, in Nordeste. Ernesto said he was going, but I had forgotten that he and Lina were spending the weekend celebrating Valentine’s Day in the city. I asked Serenela if I could ride with her and Filipe and they said I could.

I have been meaning to try a CrossFit wall climb and a handstand push-up, so before John left we did some of those in the kitchen. I made chili for dinner and honey roasted chickpea trail mix for a “snack” during the game.

Filipe and Serenela picked me up and we drove the 30 minutes north to Nordeste (which literally translates to “Northeast”). Serenela is from Nordeste and what I could see of it was beautiful. The Azorean fog was working its way back onto the island and since Nordeste is very high up, it was especially bad there.

By the time we got to the field, it had started to sprinkle. After an extremely awkward bathroom trip (where the maintenance guy told me to use the Senhores room instead of the Senhoras because it was broken, but then the toilet-stall-full-of-leaves-but-lacking-toilet-paper in the men’s room wouldn’t flush either), we sat in the rain for no more than five minutes. The rain wasn’t so bad, but coupled with the wind, it just hits you right in the face. Serenela, Glebiana with Mufasa the puppy, along with another girl I don’t know, walked back to the side of the field where the cars were parked and asked Pedro if we could sit in the van until the game started. I learned that Glebiana speaks English! Serenela was having a hard time finding a word in English when Glebiana chimed in. All these weeks sitting at games together and I had no idea.


It was so warm and cozy in the van and after moving over one car spot, we had such a good view of the field that we stayed inside the rest of the game. John started and played about 80 minutes. Nordeste scored a fluke of a goal in the first half when the striker and our goalie ran into each other and toppled to the ground, Ken ran into the net to defend when the ball (aided by the incredible winds) bounced on his foot and into the net. Noooooo!


Mira Mar scored around the 85th minute, I leaned over and beep-beep-beeeeeeped Pedro’s horn in celebration. I wished we could always sit in the van. We had the radio bumping and Pedro sang “What did the fox say?”

Because Serenela is from Nordeste and knows most of the players, she had a few moments where she was cheering for them. I threatened to kick her out of the van if she didn’t cut the shit. You must cheer for Mira Mar when you are sitting inside the Mira Mar van (or some other ghetto van that Mira Mar rents because their van is never in working condition). You must cheer for Nordeste outside.

After the game was over (1-1 was the final) Filipe, Serenela and I took a pit-stop at Serenela’s mom’s house in Nordeste. Because she is sweet, adorable, Portuguese, and older than me, Serenela’s mom just wanted to feed me. I tried to politely decline, explaining that for the first three months we were here all I did was eat bread. I did accept a Ferrero Rocher, because I didn’t want to be rude.

I finally got back to Povoacao after 7:00pm where I ate chili I had made in the morning. John and Ken came back from Pic Nic where Diogo had made them burgers with bacon. Ken went home and John and I took Romeo for one last long walk around the vila. I was so tired from doing absolutely nothing that I couldn’t even Skype with my parents and I went straight to bed when we got home.

Days 115, 116, 117, 118. Hair clippers, YouTube yoga, poolside parties and homemade tea.

I would like to preface this post by saying that since I have been adapting my lifestyle (not really “dieting” since the foods I cut out I don’t plan on eating again) my posts center even more around food than they did before. Which, I know, is hard to imagine. I’m trying to stay away from mostly all processed foods, most grains, and all dairy (haha, except galaoes don’t count. You know that). Not only do I feel better, I am losing some kgs. I am controlling portions, too, because I’m trying to lose some extra lbs, but after I am done losing, I will keep the diet the same and just increase the calorie count. The end.

Day One Hundred Fifteen (dia um centena de quinze)

Monday (Segunda-feira)

27 Janeiro 2014

 Monday morning: I ran with and without Romeo for 4 miles. The sun was shining and it was at least 60F out. I took some pictures on my run (because I never do!) and Lina posted a picture in the afternoon of Ernesto sunning himself by the pool. In a bathing suit. It was that warm.

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I got home and then John and I moseyed over to the gym to meet Ken. John has been waiting (pretty) patiently for a pair of clippers his mom shipped to us. When we got packages on Friday he hid his disappointment well, but I knew he really wanted to cut his hair. Fortunately, when we arrived at the gym there was another package! From Judi! Hallelujah.

There were a lot of people at the gym. It could be because it’s January, or it might have something to do with Ernesto’s new intern, who is also Candida’s boyfriend. When I first met her, she told me he was like a model. I won’t argue.

Because it was so packed, we split up and changed our routine around a little bit. I did:

  • Single leg RDLs to reverse lunges
  • Single arm squat-to-OH-press to chin-ups
  • core: hanging leg raises, decline sit-ups, SB roll outs x3 rounds @20 reps

Maybe because we were doing pull-ups for a few weeks, or maybe it was letting John assist me, but I did three sets of 7 chin-ups and one set of 6 (by myself!). I felt like a machine. Maybe it’s my new Gluten-free Edge. Ha!

We headed off to Pic Nic and were planning to go shopping later in the afternoon; I had a second phone interview with the undisclosed-company-in-Arlington. However, when we got to Pic Nic I had an email from the girl I was supposed to call that said she was out sick. No worries, I have all the time in the world (well, almost). So after galaoes, we headed to Fatima’s.

We stopped at home to drop off the hair clippers and grab Romeo. John hung out outside Fatima’s while I grabbed our essentials. While Fatima was ringing me up, I noticed the bread van outside. I hollered, “John! The bread van!” I don’t even eat bread, but the smell is actually intoxicating. A few minutes later, the bread van driver opened the back. I handed John a euro and he got some fresh papos secos. Holy yumminess.

After we got home and unloaded the groceries I ate lunch and showered. I headed off to the fruit market and Antonio’s for a few more things. I decided to indulge and buy myself the 6 box of chia seeds I’ve been eyeing, along with brown rice, oats, and sesame seeds. After having gone to the fruit market, I was 0.15short on my tab at Antonio’s! I tried to take a pepper out of my bag, but the cashier said it was fine. #islandlife

While I was attempting to farmer’s walk my 5L agua and 6 full shopping bags back to the apartment, I saw John. JOHN! He turned around and helped me carry the bags. He was on his was back from DAP (the electronic store where I got my hair dryer). He had gone to use his clippers and realized the voltage was too much. He asked Lina and she told him he could get a converter at DAP. After about an hour of playing around with the converter, messing with the power switch on the clippers, and literally pulling his hair out, he gave up. I went back to DAP to return the converter and just buy a pair of clippers. Yes. We could have gone down to DAP and bought clippers that are made for Northern European outlets and voltage and not had John’s mom go through the trouble of shipping them and then having to wait for them. But, we didn’t and so here we are.

The very nice English-speaking woman at DAP told me her husband would have to make sure we didn’t blow up the converter before she would let me return it. No problem, except for that he wasn’t there. I asked her if I could just buy the clippers. No, come back later, she said. So, I went home. About half-an-hour later I went back, and after at least 15 minutes of her poking around on the computer, doing some math, and finally ringing up the clippers, she asked me for my name. I tried to spell it for her, “Eliza. E-L,” but she was too confused. I said, you know what? Here’s my license. You can just read it. She picked up my license and I pointed to my name. “OH!” She says, recognition spreading across her face. “E-leeee-za! El-ee-za!”, as if I had been saying my name wrong before and she had just discovered the correct pronunciation. I tried to explain, “Yes, we say ‘Eliza’ in America, and you say ‘E-lee-za’ here in Portugal. It’s Eliza.” But she wasn’t having it. Funnily enough, “Duddy” she had no problem with.

I scooted home with the clippers and John went off to coach the juniors. I changed and headed over to Toronto Night’s for class (back upstairs in the banquet hall!). I had eight ladies who absolutely killed it for 60 minutes. I am going to miss them.


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Lina sent me home with a giant container of soup and a handful of lemons to squeeze into it. They were orange, but she swore up and down that they were lemons.

When I got home I started dinner. I had bought some fresh couve at the fruit market earlier, so I sauteed up some onions and garlic and then put the couve in to wilt. I cut up some chicken breast and added that, too. In my ongoing effort to stay away from starchy foods I made brown rice to which I added half a head of cauliflower rice (which is so bland on it’s own) and then scooped some of the onion & garlic mix into it before I put the couve in. I made plain white rice for John. My brown rice/cauliflower rice mix was bomb. John’s was a little too plain so he added some soy sauce. We ate when he got back from practice.

As soon as we were done eating John opened his new clippers and set off to finish the haircut he had started earlier in the afternoon. He had been able to clean it up enough before he left for practice so it didn’t look too botched. After he finished his hair and showered, he asked if I wanted to go to Pic Nic for a cappuccino. It seemed like it had been a long time since he’d been home early enough to do anything except for go to bed. I changed from my scrubbiest sweatpants into my going-out sweatpants and out we went. I got an orange & cinnamon (laranja e canela) tea and John got his vanilla cappuccino. Monica was the one working at Pic Nic and she noticed my cough. She asked me if I was sick, and I told her it was just a cough and that it was only bad at night. She said people here make a special mint tea that makes you better and that you can’t buy it in stores—people make it at home. She told me she would bring me some the next time she was at work. Ken thinks she doesn’t like him, but she and I share the same indifference toward professional soccer, so we get along just fine.


Day One Hundred Sixteen (dia um centena de dezesseis)

Tuesday (Terca-feira)

28 Janeiro 2014

I got up and ran 5 miles without Romeo—sometimes it is just easier that way. When I got back, John and I got ready for the gym. We met Ken and totally split up. I was totally dragging, but I did:

  • rotational cable pulls to lateral squats
  • barbell bent row to back extensions

We got back together do to core, tabata-style, at the end. We had been upping our reps on this set, but would’ve been at 40 x3 rounds this week, so we switched it up. Three rounds :45 on, :15 off: leg lifts, suitcases, side plank w/dips R&L. Dead.

We headed off to Pic Nic and then Ken came over for lunch and a haircut. They heated up Lina’s soup and I made a wicked big salad bowl for lunch, which reminded me of my mom. My mom is probably one of the healthiest eaters I know, but she’s also known to throw a bunch of shit (seeds, fruit, berries… etc) in a bag or bowl and just munch on it, kind of like a bird. Her idea of a “meal” is probably different than yours. I took the leftover salad from the night before (romaine, tomatoes, cukes, and shredded carrots) and added to it the last blob of my homemade hummus, a chopped apple, and two hard-boiled eggs (which the boys informed me smelled like farts). Topped with red wine vinegar and EVOO.


It was delicious.

John turned the bathroom into JB’s Barber Shop. I didn’t get a ‘before’ pic, but he did a really good job with Ken’s hair. Tomorrow he’s cutting Majid’s hair—he’s going to give the barber a run for his money.

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After Ken’s hair was finished, John and I took Romeo for a walk. I wanted to make granola later, so I needed to go shopping. While there is not a ton of “health food” in Povoacao, Antonio’s has a nice little section. They have brown rice, oats, sesame seeds, goji berries, whole wheat pasta, some digestive cookies, and my 6 box of chia seeds. I bought some sesame seeds, raisins, shredded coconut, almonds, and walnuts. I spent 16. Worth it.

After we walked Romeo around the vila we headed home, where I finished making sauce for dinner. John had practice, so after we ate our early-bird special dinner he headed off to the guys’ apartment and I headed off to ALKE. I am officially addicted to zucchini pasta and am going to buy a spiralizer or spirooli as soon as we get back to the States.


I worked out with the ladies in class and then headed home to shower, make granola, walk Romeo, and indulge in a little Grey’s Anatomy. It was the one where Callie gets sued by an ex-Olympic-athlete-turned-double-amputee for malpractice. Depressing.


  • 1c oats
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • ½ tbs cinnamon
  • 1/4c shredded coconut
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs canola oil

I baked it at 350 for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. It didn’t look done to me, so I cooked it for a little bit longer. I added ¼c raisins, ¼c slivered almonds, and ¼c walnuts after I baked it, because I made some without nuts for JB. I also wasn’t sure if baking the raisins would make them taste funny.


Day One Hundred Seventeen (dia um centena de dezassete)

Wednesday (Quarta-feira)

29 Janeiro 2014

I got up and ran 4 with Romeo before breakfast. I dropped him off about halfway through. I had my granola with soy milk and a banana when I got back. Other than the fact that it didn’t really clump together very well—so it was just a bunch of nuts and seeds floating around aimlessly—it was really good. I guess I could’ve used more honey to get bigger clumps. I hopped in the shower and eventually John got up. He quickly got ready and headed to cut Majid’s hair. I was just getting another loaded salad bowl together and we decided to go to Pic Nic after we were both done.

I meant to put black beans and chickpeas in my salad, but I accidentally opened white beans instead. So it was about 1/3c black beans, 1/3c white beans, red & green pepper, cukes, tomato, shredded carrots, on top of lettuce. EVOO and red wine vinegar. Delish. John came home with Ken and ate the last few bites of it before we went to Pic Nic.


The boys had decided to go the gym and do some arms, but I was planning on doing some YouTube yoga and going for a second run. After feeling good last week doing two runs on Wednesday, I decided that I would do it again for my longish-mid-week-run.

When I got home I did some dinner prep, and John came home shortly after. I was making fried rice for dinner and I had forgotten to buy frozen veggies. So, after John showered we took Romeo for a stroll to go get some. We got back around 4:00pm and I made John’s fried rice so he could eat before the juniors game. Other than not having sesame oil, I thought this Pinterest recipe came out really well. I used canola oil and threw about 1 tsp of sesame seeds in it for a few minutes before I added the onion and garlic. After John ate I did 30 minutes of YouTube yoga (still struggling to find a full length vinyasa/flow class that I like.. suggestions are welcomed and encouraged!) and then went for the second half of my 8 mile run. I felt good: not sore or achey, but I was dragging for sure. I headed off to teach.


After class I took Leila to the gym; her IT band has been bothering her for at least a week and she can hardly walk down the stairs after class. I showed her how to foam roll and she looked like she was going to cry so I knew she was doing it right.

 IMG_1769This is a really old picture of my cousin, in our old apartment in Newton, demonstrating proper foam rolling technique.

When I got back I made my fried rice with my cauliflower & brown rice mix and it was delicious. And super easy—especially since I had already cooked and diced the chicken and made my “rice” ahead of time. I am really hoping to become an efficient cook when we get home so we can continue to eat whole foods and stay away from processed foods. We shall see.


After I ate, showered, and walked Romeo, I headed back out towards the gymnasium to watch John play futsol. I watched him play for about fifteen minutes before it was his turn to sit out. He say for about five minutes before he gathered his belongings and said his goodbyes. He was done.

We walked home together and got ready for bed. I also made some chia seed pudding for breakfast the next day.



Day One Hundred Eighteen (dia um centena de dezoito)

Thursday (Quinta-feira)

30 Janeiro 2014

I got up and ran four with (and without) Romeo after eating my new favorite breakfast: chia seed pudding. Since I finally spent the six euros on the damn seeds, I might as well enjoy them. Half a cup of soy milk (if you have access to coconut or almond milk, use that!) and 3 tablespoons of chia seeds. I put one teaspoon of honey in to sweeten it, and it ended up tasting like tapioca or rice pudding. But healthier. I topped it with a banana and cinnamon. #eatcleantrainmean


John and I walked over to meet Ken at the gym. John convinced Ernesto to do our Friday circuit workout with us. Today, I did:

  • Dips to bench plate pullovers
  • Single arm lateral raise to goblet squats
  • Our core workout (burpees, SB pikes, and hanging rotational knee tucks) were supposed to go up to 20 reps this week. Instead, we did them for time.

I know it takes me about a minute to do 20 burpee SPLATS, so I started with a minute. I quickly realized I could not do 1:00 of SB pikes, so I did :45 (still wanted to die) and :45 of hanging rotational knee tucks.

I did three rounds, and since I finished before the boys, and was completely drenched from my sunshine-y run and gym training sesh, I ran home to shower before meeting up with them again at Pic Nic. Monica gave me a big bag of dried herbs and told us how to make tea out of it. It smelled like mint and looked like lavender. I just hoped it would help me sleep—my cough is totally absent during the day and then right around 9:00pm it is unstoppable. I have been up every night this week.

After Pic Nic, John and I headed home where I made absolutely nothing for dinner. John said he was going to grab a banana before practice and eat when he got home, but he didn’t even do that.

Because it was so incredibly warm out, we decided to head over to Lina’s mom’s house and lay out by the pool. Ernesto was already sunning himself when we got there–Ken had gone home first and we arrived at the pool before him. John and Ernesto tricked him into thinking they’d already jumped in the pool, and Ken had to as well. Sure enough he jumped in the (unheated) pool. In January. He heard John cackle as he hit the water, and when he resurfaced said, “You guys didn’t really go in, did you?!”

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Ernesto brought us a whole ton of fruit from their orchard while we were there; bananas, oranges, guava. And then he brought something we’d never seen. They were like really sour/bitter cherries, inside of tiny paper lanterns.

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I went off to teach and after class Lina asked me if I wanted to go to the city for lunch the next day. She had to drop her daughter off for her last exam of her first college semester. I happily agreed and then went home and made my super egg scramble for dinner. Leila didn’t show up for class and I got nervous I had made her leg worse by forcing her to foam roll. Either that or she was afraid I was going to make her do it again.


I was trying to use towels (DTT = Darque Tan Towels) to recreate a slideboard, but it was a fail. I had them do stability ball knee tucks instead. I must find another alternative.

I contemplated making the tea before John got home, but I knew he wanted to try it, too. I got in bed and read my newest book This is Where I Leave You (will be a major motion picture this year with Jason Bateman) since I finished And the Mountains Echoed (good but very complicated). John got home and we made the tea. I decided not to scoop out the herbs and just used a spoon to hold it back while I slurped—I choked on a bud, coughed all night and didn’t sleep a wink. John took it and slept like a baby. For real?

112, 113, 114… packages, peanut butter balls, and more long runs

Day One Hundred Twelve (dia um centena de doze)

Friday (Sexta-feira)

24 Janeiro 2014

I was in bed when John got home from practice the night before (which has been my MO since we started eating dinner earlier) so it was only fitting that he was in bed when I went out to run the next morning. I had two Peanut Butter energy balls that I had made the afternoon before (total experiment and if you are a resident of Massachusetts, don’t even BOTHER, just go to like I’ve said before). I didn’t bake them and they were totally sticky, so I figured they might “set” in the fridge overnight. I guess they were slightly less sticky in the morning, and ridiculously delicious so I didn’t care. They also sat very well pre-run and mid-run. Romeo came with me for almost 2 and I finished 5 altogether. On Thursday I had hit 100 mile for the month. Thank you, Nike.


It’s been really warm the last few days—like run-in-a-tank-and-shorts-warm—so after running I need to change or else I will freeze to death sitting in a puddle of my own sweat. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I am a sweater. And I’m not ashamed to admit it; I sweat like a whore in church. Mostly when I’m running or lifting, but sometimes when my coffee is too hot or I’m nervous, or for any number of other tiny instances that require my body to self-regulate.

Anyway, after I ran and changed (and threw some chili together and left the heat on low) we walked over to meet Ken at the gym. We had two packages waiting for us and John was really excited because his mom had sent him new hair clippers a few weeks ago, so he thought they were here. I tried to gear him up for the realization that my dad sent a package before his mom and also our friend Anne and her fiance Joseph had sent something from Turkey. Sure enough, we had packages from P.Diddy and Anne Kranz (sorry JB). There was another package sent from a company in England addressed to Lina, but she hadn’t ordered anything and assumed it was meant for us. John and I decided it was a new pair of cleats that Ken had ordered. Since Ken wasn’t at the gym yet, Ernesto suggested they play a nasty trick on him.

John and Ernesto opened his package and took the cleats out of their signature orange Nike box and replaced them with old running sneakers. They put them back in the packaging and duct taped it closed again. I am not good at keeping a straight face, so I tried to steer clear of the pranksters when Ken showed up a few minutes later.

He was so excited when he saw the package from England; he knew it was his cleats. He tore into the package and his face dropped when he saw the sneaks but then the corners of his lips turned upwards into a grin, “You guys! Nice try. Where are my cleats?” But John and Ernesto didn’t let up, John said, “Oh man. I was nervous when I saw that duct tape. I thought something might be up.” And Ernesto just kept shaking his head, hands out wide. Ken’s face dropped again as he read the packing slip. I actually thought he was going to cry. Once Ernesto showed him the cleats he was hiding under his desk, it took Ken a solid ten minutes to calm down again. He was had.

Once all that excitement was over we started our Friday-circuit-workout, 5 rounds @ 10 reps each:

  • decline push-ups
  • alt v-ups
  • TRX single leg hops (kill me)
  • reverse fly’s (boys did chest fly’s)
  • upright row

I did two :90 planks at the end and then threw my legs up on the tiny piece of wall between the elliptical and one of the bikes for 2:00. I read it on one of my yoga-poses-for-runners articles. The one that is saving my plantar fasciitis from overtaking my life is toes pose. And I had one more for your IT band that it also a lifesaver.

After we went to Pic Nic we went home. My chili had cooked onto the bottom of the pot which totally messed with the flavor. Not my best batch—but I made meatballs for John and Ken which were thoroughly enjoyed, so no one else had to suffer through my sub-par chili-fail. I finished the rest of my sweet potato soup for lunch.

Along with the warm weather we’ve been enjoying we’ve also experienced some increased humidity, which for Romeo means excessive shedding. More excessive than usual. We haven’t had him groomed or even brushed him since we’ve been here (almost 4 months now!). I told John I couldn’t stand to sweep twice a day and then turn around and still see more fur on the ground; we were going to the pet shop/7 lombas rent-a-car. We took Romeo with us and made a pit-stop at Casa Cheia so I could grab conditioner for me and a Monster for John. We went into the pet shop where I found the brushes quickly. The lady behind the desk asked me if I need any help in Portuguese. I asked if she spoke English which she did, very well. John and Romeo came in the store, too, and she went on and on about how beautiful he is. We bought a brush and headed home.

Needless to say I didn’t need anymore loose fur in the apartment so we kept Romeo outside while I brushed him. I thought about using a bag, but I didn’t. More fur came off of Romeo than I’ve ever seen before. I just kept pulling it off the brush and tossing it into the street. By the time I was finished, the whole street was lined with giant tufts of Romeo fur. Lina walked by and marveled at all of it.

IMG_1657Yes, those tufts? Those are tufts of Romeo.

I made meatballs and Ken came over to eat dinner with John. I decided to eat my basically-botched chili after class. It was a little colder on Friday than it had been the two days before, so after we warmed-up outside, we worked-out inside.


At the end, I had them do 10 laps around the pool. One of the ladies in my class, Monica, is also my neighbor. Her son comes with her most days to class. On this particular day, they had seen Romeo’s fur in the street, but didn’t know it was Romeo’s fur. Monica’s son had asked her what was in the street, to which she replied, “Someone must have ripped open a pillow.”

John thought the PB balls were a little crunchy because I hadn’t baked them, so the chocolate chips were whole. I decided to try another batch, but bake them at 350F for 15 minutes like some of the recipes I’ve found suggested. I went home and ate my chili, showered, walked Romeo, started some laundry and got in bed. When John got home I was wide awake so we finally watched Catching Fire. Usually I fall asleep not long after we start movies at night, but Jennifer Lawrence is a rockstar, Hunger Games is great, and this movie was awesome. #teamgale


Day One Hundred Thirteen (dia um centena de treze)

Sabado (Saturday)

25 Janeiro 2014

JB was passed out when I got up so after I had my PB energy balls (I had one unbaked and one of the new baked ones… they tasted almost exactly the same) and walked Romeo, I headed to the gym solo. The gym was almost completely empty. It is very relaxing when you don’t have to worry about if the machine/area you want is taken. I did a nice long yoga warm-up, 5 miles on the bike, and then some TRX & free weights:

  • front squats to weighted box blasts
  • weighted TRX trail leg squats to box jumps
  • TRX core: 15 reps @ 3 rounds: mountain climbers, pikes, knee tucks, and leg curls. DONE.

I headed back home where I found John getting ready to go watch some Cup games at Pic Nic, so I went down with him for my galao. When I got home, I had lunch, showered, and went downstairs to Carla’s salon. Her cousin is finishing up hair school so I asked her to color my hair for me. Carla and I had talked about what color I wanted (dark-dark brown) and she had talked to her cousin for me (who speaks no English). Two hours later my hair was a few shades darker than it had been when I walked in to the salon. But it was shiny and someone else had done it for me—other than Carla pluckin’ my brows on day 5 I haven’t paid for a service. Not a mani, not a pedi, not a haircut. It was so nice to sit in a salon, with other ladies (even if most of what was said was not understood), having someone wash and dry my hair. I felt like a million bucks.

John came home from playing FIFA at Ken’s and we hung out for a little while before going to watch Kevin’s futsol game in the gymnasium. I had been planning to go to John’s game, but then I found out it was at 9:00pm and there wasn’t any room in Serenela’s boyfriend’s car. When we were leaving Kevin’s futsol game—John to go to his game, me to sit in bed and watch Grey’s Anatomy—Filipe told me I could ride in Pedro’s van with the players. Hmmm.. I could. Or I could sit in my warm bed and watch Grey’s. Thanks, anyways. The boys’ lost again because the referees are all corrupt and make call after call against Mira Mar to ensure a loss. I am so glad I was not in that van. As it turned out, I was in bed before their game even started.


Day One Hundred Fourteen (dia um centena de catorze)

Sunday (Domingo)

26 Janeiro 2014

I had been sleeping when John got home a little before 1:00am. I got up around 9:00am, took Romeo for a stroll, had some PB balls and a banana, and hydrated for my long run. It is my second-to-last long run before my actual training plan starts for the Nike Women’s half marathon. I set out with Romeo a little before 11:00am. I felt a whole lot better than I had the week before, trying to run after eating junk food and going to bed late. After I dropped Romeo off and headed for the lombas in a tank top I finished 11.5 miles.


I made chocolate chip pancakes for John and PB-oat-banana-chocolate-chip pancakes for myself—gluten-free(?) & dairy-free. John smothered PB on top of his and said they tasted like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I pinned about a dozen recipes the night before for pancakes, but then I just did my usual throw-a-bunch-of-stuff-in-a-bowl and called it a day. Delish—will definitely make again as a re-fuel. However, while they were delicious, they were not really picture-worthy.

I started my once-a-week clean everything I see routine. Ken came over and eventually we headed down to Pic Nic—me for my galao and John and Ken for Pic Nic burgers. I left them to go make chocolate chip cookies—Carla was having us over for drinks & snacks.

IMG_1666Sometimes I get a double.

Joe picked me, John, & Ken up around 7:30pm and took us to their house in lomba do Loucao. Soon after we arrived Lina and Ernesto and then Luisa and Emanuel showed up. Carla had a whole spread of fruits, cheeses, prosciutto, nachos with salsa and sour cream, vegetables, shrimp pastries that got a big thumbs-down from everyone who partook (except for John), and was busy making chicken quesadillas. I brought my chocolate chip cookies that I had drizzled melted peanut butter on top of. I had one and it was delish. PB always is.

Francisco was a riot—he was playing a game called Talking Ted on Joe’s smartphone and was leaning against John asking John to watch him play, in Portuguese of course. You could make Ted do different things, and one of them was fart. Francisco went around the table showing everyone individually Ted’s “bufa”. We toasted Carla and Joe’s baby-girl-to-be and her to-be God Parents, Lina and Ernesto. We talked about how corrupt soccer on this island is, and Emanuel told stories about when he managed Mira Mar and had the team walk off the field a few times because of bad reffing. After many more laughs, drinks, and cookies, Lina and Ernesto drove us home.

#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.

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.


Day Forty Three.. The FH comes to Povoacao

Day Forty Three (quadragesimo teceiro dia)

Semana sete

Friday marks the first day of our seventh week living in Portugal. Tonight, to further our celebration and assimilation into Portuguese life, the Portuguese national team is vying for a spot in the World Cup in the first of two games against Sweden. If you are curious but unaware (like I was), Ukraine and France are competing for the other spot. John doesn’t have practice for either team (probably because of this incredibly important match), so we’ve decided to make tonight our Pic-Nic-Burgers-for-Dinner night. Not DIY, but the real deal.

We also decided on an afternoon gym trip and I don’t really run on Fridays so I actually showered and dressed like a normal adult human being before we left the house—except for walking Romeo in my pajamas, because that doesn’t really count as “leaving the house”. Ken came over with his voter packet from Switzerland (did you know as a Swiss citizen over 18 you are actually required by law to vote in elections?) because he had to mail it. When we were getting ready to leave I got a message from Lina that we had a care package. John and Ken walked to Pic-Nic and I grabbed a pair of scissors and booked it to ALKE. #dontrunwithscissors


I grabbed the package off of Ernes’ fridge so fast I barely squeezed out a “BOM DIA, ‘BRIGADA” before I hustled over to Pic-Nic to rip into our package. Who was it from, you ask? Not so much a “who” as a “what” really, and the what was The FIELDHOUSE. Our home.


A bunch of different people contributed to this package-of-American-love, but Kate was the coordinating culprit. If I hadn’t known that already, I would’ve been able to tell from the uber-creative wrap-job. I immediately went at the packing tape with my mini-scissors and starting digging in. The first thing I pulled out was a package of Peanut Butter Energy Balls from Real Deal Snacks…my mouth is actually watering as I write about them now. Underneath those was a second package. Thanks ye, Jesus a.k.a. Leslie! You are incredible, and so are those little balls. Under that was a THIRD package from RDS of Grain-free Granola Bites. There were snack packs of Pringles and Halloween Pretzels, Luna bars… A bag of unreal unjunked peanut butter cups! And then a plastic bag full of something wrapped in blue tissue paper: It was at least a dozen PR Bars, Lara Bars, and KIND Bars. Two magazines, a hand-drawn picture of an airplane (that is now on our refrigerator!) and a pound of Dunkin Donuts coffee. There were three handwritten cards. I was tearing up in Pic-Nic, I was so happy. We gave one Peanut Butter ball each to Carla, Ricardo, and Ken; the rest I am rationing.


We went home with all our goodies and I went back out again to get some food for the weekend and necessities like dog food. John hasn’t been feeling well so he and Romeo laid down to take a pre-gym nap. Carla came over for a little while and showed me how to use our new cable box; we now have on-demand-like channels that include Wii Zumba, wrestling, and even an NBA channel. I efforted for a long time to find a Yoga channel to no avail. I have decided to re-implement Yoga Days into my life. I used to have Yoga Wednesdays when Holly was teaching in her basement which coincided nicely with go-to-work-late-Wednesdays. After I worked from 6:30-8:30am I would go to a 75-more-like-90-minute Yoga session before dawdling at Starbucks and arriving at FH close to noon. Even thought I had already worked for two hours, it still felt like I was going to work late. Self-care is key to a long and happy life, so I am going to YouTube Yoga on Sunday. Check.

John and I headed over to ALKE where we met Ken and agreed to do no legs—they have a game tomorrow, I have my long run, and we’re all sore. We did 4 rounds of 10 reps:

  • Pull ups (I did 5ish, 7ish, 5 and a ½ish and 7ish. I’m calling it “25”)
  • Hanging leg raises
  • Incline bench
  • SB roll outs

We stopped at home so John and Ken could put some peanut butter in their protein shakes and then they went off to Pic-Nic for the Portugal vs. Sweden game and I headed back to ALKE for my class. My plan was to teach, run home and shower, and then meet them for most of the second half and a Pic-Nic burger. I told Marco I was going to have his meal: two Pic-Nic burgers, french fries, a cerjeva, and ice cream. Minus the cheese and the ice cream, of course.

In fact I only had one burger, fries, and my water. HA. Portugal won 1-0 and Ukraine won 2-0. Both sets of teams play again on Tuesday night to decide, and because the decision is based on aggregate goals (I am so learning) Sweden and France still have a decent chance.

It was still early when we got home so we watched a movie. John let me pick in hopes that I would actually watch the whole movie instead of falling asleep/reading my book. I chose Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close with Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock about 9/11 and I thought it was great. John liked it, but felt basically the way my dad did: it was too long.

When it was finally over, we fell asleep dreaming of our conquests for the next day: John and Mira Mar beating Nordeste and me beating the lomba that beat me (up).