Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nothing much has happened recently apart from the Dili Marathon, finally moving office from Motael into Timor Plaza, the new Portuguese bakery on Lobato, , new drains in Bairo Pite, bamboo furniture, world war G, Insects away & liquid medical kit

Blog finishing 2nd  July 2013

Dili Marathon
The Saturday marathon really started three weeks before the event when the rumour mill ran hot. The people who’d previously done the organising and run the web site had ‘left’. No one was doing website updates nor responding to emails. There was no course map, method of entering or other details such as the start line.
My concerns were more about would I run the half or the full? After knocking off  a heavy hill and flat-mixed 10km run on the previous Wednesday in 56 minutes and feeling good afterwards,  I decided I would take on the full distance of 42km + a bit more. Nagging thoughts kept bugging me about a lack of training (true, but not helpful for race preparation). These thoughts were cast aside – ‘You are either with me or against me’. Reality gradually focused my mind around the 30km mark – the wonders of lactic acid..
I'd decided to enter on the morning of the event, 06:10 to be exact. My guess was that it would kick off in front of the Palacio on the waterfront and that was correct, a morale-boosting location. When I reached a tent that seemed official enough to accept entries, I was told ‘Entries are full/closed'. Speaking to other runners at the start line, it turned out that you had to hear by word of mouth that the entries had to be made at some building two days prior. At least one runner had to insist on an entry, even though the attendant claimed it was ‘full’, by pointing out they still had piles of numbers on the table.
“Darn it,” (family classified blog) I said. No number for me, but I resolved to run anyway. This was not a problem and the Minister of Tourism, after a double take, still draped a tais around my neck at the finish.

 I’d borrowed a Garmin GPS + heart meter from Karin and this was running the whole time I was out there. Neat piece of kit as there are heaps of stats and a dotted track of dots to overlay onto Google Earth.
No one was writing down numbers so that kind of stymied an official result list.
Important stuff: Total time of 4:20 hours, half time of about 1:40, then my body began to copy the spiral of a failing finance company. Ummm, not really true. : heart, breathing, fluids and energy all ticked the boxes, but those legs kept complaining that they could not do what they’d done 10 years ago in London. The result was over an hour slower. Still, it rained most of the time, so no problems with tropical heat and blazing sun. The flood waters took my mind off the run as I guessed what was or was not under the flowing brown water. Frequently, the roads grow large holes that everyone drives or walks around. In the wet, one tends to miss the warning signs but not the hole. One circuit for the half marathon, two for the full. On the second circuit (once around for the half marathon) nearly all the flood water had gone, leaving lots of mud.
Second time round, Tracey, another VSA volunteer, came with me to provide water bottles, bananas and photo opportunities. I posed in front of a banner 4km from the finish and this probably cost me a podium finish :-p
I walked part way home afterwards clutching a goodies bag from an exhibition in Shanghai 2010. Inside was a 500gm bag of roasted coffee beans. I don’t have a grinder so the beans have been re-gifted. I tried my first massage at Thai Herb four hours later, but it didn’t provide much relief. The Garmin said I’d burned 2,876 calories so I ate a nice Thai rice dish and then nibbled most of the evening. Cycling was easy next day but the lactic acid was still a real pain. I was nearly right three days later, but the Wednesday had me nodding off all day - a 'dalayed' reaction?!

Moving up in the world
Well, our business has moved into the new offices and that was a mission. Just as well I organised our IT to move first so we could see everyone else trickle in over the next three days with three rearrangements of people and units. OK, we have our own office, so it’s easier. A longer cycle to work, yet pleasant enough and very handy for grocery shopping.
One of our contract workers (from India) got assaulted by a taxi driver last week. The driver must have had a real problem as he charged $5 for a $2 ride and then, even when he got his way, jumped out after receiving the money and hit the poor passenger. They’d passed the NZ Embassy. so it may be possible to get some film from the security cameras. Always agree on the taxi fare before getting in! That’s been my rule. If things look bad, get out early or in a public place with lots of people nearby, not near your accommodation. But it’s easy to be wise after the fact.

Café culture

Three young Portuguese have opened a bakery/café, ‘Padaria Brasia’,  a few hundred metres west of the ANZ. It’s right underneath the large white sign with red writing saying ‘Sugar Travel’. Very nice atmosphere and service. The baguettes are delicious – so delicious that I would hesitate to get my friend Helen to collect a baguette order and expect the whole stick to arrive back.

Water works
After the new bridges by the President’s Palace, new drains have been progressively installed through to the Banana Road area. They have caused major traffic disruption as the builders dictate when they will close roads by digging holes. The benefits were there on Saturday during the marathon when all the water was successfully drained away into the stream and under the new bridges.

Bamboo to you
Rob, another VSA volunteer, is helping the The Bamboo Centre in Tibar with design and construction work. The pictures look really good on the website  and I think there’s a market here – just publicity and fair pricing required.

World war G
There’s a world war going on and I know someone trying to get Dili involved. Yikes!!! It’s called ‘Ingress’ and is sponsored by Google. Check it out on Wikipedia. I don’t know if it’s for me as I am a pacifist – unless I’m winning

Insect spray success
This will keep little nasty things away from your skin.
1/3 Dettol, 1/3 coconut or olive oil, 1/3 alcohol- Add together in a recycled squeezy bottle, shake, spray and spread. All you need for the day.
This weekend I'll give it tough test vs the black flys on Atauro Island

Handy medical for the tropics
This keeps wounds clean, dry and getting a top to keep the bad stuff and moisture out. Buy iodine (about $5 for the pictured bottle, try a Dili chemist) then add to squeezy bottle for quick spray jobs. Sure it stings, but worth the grimace to avoid infection