Portugal: Lisbon

Onto the final entry of our trip to Portugal. (Note: we have been back in Norway since the 25th, and I'm just being slow at writing since thesis stress has taken over my brain.)

[25th of April Bridge - the start of the half marathon]
We got to Lisbon around 7pm after our day of quick highlight pitstops and had to pick up my packet for the half-marathon. After, we called the place where we thought that we were staying...well, when Marius booked the room he got a little confused and said we were staying with them from the 23rd, not the 22nd. So we parked the car in a very expensive garage in the city (cost 17 euros for 12 hours - more expensive than the rental itself) and walked around the city looking for a place to stay for the night. The hotels were WAY too expensive, so we found one little hostel that had a room to spare. It looked a little shabby, and it was. When I turned on the light to the bathroom there was a loud BANG! and the lights went out and glass crashed to the floor from the light!

[Artbeat Rooms, Lisbon]
We called for the manager, an old short man, and he brought a spare lightbulb and just said "Here, you are taller, you must fix for me. Then, all good, no problem." Marius very carefully replaced the bulb ---three bad bulbs later and we finally got one that wasn't a dead bulb. Next the glass...the man said "I clean." He took three little sweeps and said "Clean. No problem, sir." It was clearly not clean. We asked to sweep up more but he did a couple more sweeps...still glass on the floor. We had to walk around the room with shoes on. That was the worst hostel I have ever been in, and we were very glad to be at the place we had booked the next two nights. This shabby hostel really set the bar low, but our next hostel was really nice. Very cozy, cool paintings on the walls, a little kitchen, and great staff --- called Artbeat Rooms.

The day before my race we of course started the day out with some pastries and coffee for breakfast before we headed out for some sight seeing. We saw: the Castela de Sao Jorge, which is the highest point of the city with great panoramic views above; a few churches, including the Lisbon Cathedral; a flea market; and had a nice little tapas meal of shrimp, sheep cheese, sauteed peppers and bread. We were exhausted very early (9:30pm) and went back to the hostel to get a good sleep before the big Meia Maratona de Lisboa!!!

[Cathedral of Lisbon]
[On top of the castle, overlooking Lisbon]
[A view of the castle (left) and the bridge (middle)]

[Speedy Diaz at the Meia de Maratona 2013]
The event hosted 28000 participants for both the mini marathon (5k) and the half marathon. The half marathon had more than 8200 runners! Compared to the Knarvikmila (my first half marathon), this one was ENORMOUS. I had to take a series of trains to be transported to the other side of the 25th of April bridge for the start. The race started on that side of the bridge before we ran into the city along the road that paralleled the water. The startline was packed and it took me over a minute and a half just to cross the start. I had to weave through people to get in front of the slower ones, but managed to get up to the 1:45 pace leader. There were runners who had the task of maintaining a certain pace with a balloon tied around their waist so that runners knew how fast they were going.  I maintained a 5 min/km pace and finished in 1 hour and 49 minutes (according to the clock) -- 1 hour 47 minutes according to the chip. I was very proud of my time and glad I got up for my morning 5k, and out for my evening 10k. I came in 79th out of 562 in my group. Next year I would like to run my first full marathon. My hips and heels were very stiff after the run, and Marius and I thought a better option for touring Lisbon was to take the metro to the Oceanarium for a relaxing day with the fishes. We got back to Norway the next day and have been enjoying some Easter skiing, thesis writing, coffee, and good food. The sun is shining, but today I have to sit inside and write my thesis.
[The race finished at the monastery in Belem]

Happy Easter..God Påske!

[Portugal by food: pastries, coffee, beer, octopus rice, sheep cheese]

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