December 26, 2017

Cozumel & Playa del Carmen (Diving and Serious Lazy Leg)

Arriving at the Ferry Terminal in Cozumel
What the heck kind of ship is that off in the distance?
How many smokestacks can one boat have?
We headed out for a test shore dive on our first full day in Cozumel -- E's cold had cleared up so we rented gear and jumped straight in to the super strong currents off of Cozumel.  We kicked against them, swam out a bit to confirm E could equalize his ears down at 20 feet (the deepest dip we could find off the shore) and then floated back without effort to our dive resort's dock.  We then ill-advisedly kept floating past it to take in a few more views, which meant a serious up-current swim to close out the dive.  In full on lazy mode, I counted the scissor kicking under the water as good hip flexor extension and stability work for my leg for the day.  I also counted the 2 miles we walked round trip to dinner, cursing our lack of foresight with respect to insect repellant, hats, and sunscreens the whole time.  For the Sabbatical year, we had a big pile of stuff we never removed from the luggage, and so, we never thought about needing to pack it.  Now, starting with empty luggage for the first time in a while, we were unprepared for some basic travel needs.

Bonus points to anyone who can name this hilarious
Classic Mexican Movie
The themes are cock-fighting, big hats, love, and betrayal.
For the shore dive, the water was as clear as promised (very!) and the number of fish right there in front of our faces immediately after shore entry was impressive and surprising.  The rest of the day was perfectly indulgent: nachos, and reading under umbrellas in front of the ocean while sipping on drinks followed by an early onsite dinner. We woke early the next day, did a 2 tank drift dive over the reefs, studied for our Nitrox certification, and went to bed early after a stereotypical Cozumel dinner at La Choza.

Gorgeous full room nativity scene at La Choza.
The next day we took our Nitrox test (passed!) and did a 2 tank afternoon enriched air dive in the currents over the gorgeous reef enjoying views of puffer fish, lion fish, moray eels, many colorful tropical fish I can't identify, as well as a trigger fish, a sea turtle (!!!), and a gigantic eagle ray (majestic span of at least 6 feet).  We didn't even exit the dive shop 'til after 7 PM, so we availed ourselves of the onsite restaurant and bar and were in bed by 10 PM.

Christmas lighted ship parade from our dive resort window every night.
Thursday, a non-diving day, I headed out for my first run since Cancun, but the heat and humidity of Cozumel coupled with my left leg/butt/hip meant that I took it easy and just did 3 miles of run/walking followed by strengthening, stretching & stabilization.  Then, we took the ferry to Playa Del Carmen, which had changed immensely since we'd last been there 10+ years ago.  We settled into the Hyatt (yay, points!) for 2 final nights of luxury before heading back.

That afternoon's activities involved eating a delicious selection of skewers and going to one of 3 dive centers within 1 block of the hotel to book a cenote dive for our last full day.  We showed up Friday morning to learn we'd be diving at Dreamgate Cenote.  It was a wonderfully unique and beautiful experience -- as promised, the stalactites and stalagmites were gorgeous, and the fresh water was impossibly clear.  The one downside was that at 24C, even with a full wetsuit and a half wetsuit on top of it, after 45 minutes my fingers and toes were numb and I was shaking when we exited the water.  The difference between 24C and 27C in water is impressive!

One of many amazing views on Dreamgate cenote dive
Saturday AM we woke to fit in yet another joint weight session.  I started with 2 miles of TM intervals at 1% incline, doing the "faster" stuff in the mid to low 9s with walking recovery, and then E and I cobbled together a hodge podge circuit of leg press, incline hanging rows, tricep overhead freeweight extensions, chest press, free weight cross jabs, medicine ball squat/(jumps), medicine ball standing twists, partner leg throw-downs, side foot ab crunch taps, and (of course) the obligatory glute bridges/pulses.

Crazy jetpack powered ridiculousness
(watched from the PDC beach from afar, in awe)

E had camarones flambeado for his final meal
this Mexico Trip--deliciousness and a show
all in one
We arrived back in the US on Saturday night, but Sunday AM, I found myself headed back out to the airport for a surprise change of Holiday plans, so the hoped for long run did not materialize.  Instead I spent the day flying and supporting various family members, where my presence was very appreciated. 

And there you have it.  A gloriously perfect and decadent week of Caribbean Mexican diving, food, drink, and also lots of sleep.  Even less actual running or other workouts than planned, but I'm relaxed, and relatively pain free.  So, I'd say my "lay off the hurt left leg and take it easy 'til it heals" plan is going swimmingly... Here's to hoping that I can start to increase mileage and train next week...


Cathryn said...

Hope the family thing works out. Hugs. xxx

Biting Tongue said...

@Cat-thanks. Prayers appreciated. So far, looking very good!