Posted by: forgingahead | June 4, 2008

A Mexico Tri

Hubby, Allison and I are taking full advantage of the long warm Mexico days with few demands on our time to fully explore the process of training for our triathlon.

So far we’ve done a several days of pseudo-brick workouts. I’m pretty sure a brick is supposed to be two workouts back to back (that’s what the pros and the books say). But we’re doing our own interpretation which involves things like siestas and a leisurely lunch between each event. So far, not so hard.

Yesterday we did our Mexican version of a triathlon. Three quarter mile swim in the morning. Break for a bowl of oatmeal. Followed by a 10 mile bike ride. Then lounge by the pool. Road trip out to the local fish camp for some super fresh tasty Pargo (red snapper). A cerveza or two.

Was there a siesta? I think so. A lovely dinner of Dorado (Mahi-Mahi) with mango salsa courtesy of our host and gourmet chef David. Then a group stroll in the warm night air around the marina. Yep, that was the third leg of our triathlon. Hey, we did all three activities in one day. And we are on vacation so you gotta cut us a little slack.

This morning, however, we were all business. The household was up at 5:30am and ready to tackle a first time event – swim to Honeymoon Island. This local rock with a tiny section of beach is about a mile offshore and primarily inhabited by an assortment of birds, mostly pelicans. It looks really far away. And did I mention the dorsal fins we see swimming out there sometimes? We’re pretty sure they’re dolphins. Yep, that’s what we’re hoping.

Though as an aside, isn’t if funny (odd) how when you happen to mention a possible swim to a point which, certainly to non-swimmers, looks somewhat risky, some people offer words of encouragement like “oh, did you know that killer whales come into the Sea of Cortez sometimes?” Now seriously folks, is this meant to be helpful? Or do you think some people have just the tiniest bit of fun making others nervous. I leave it to you to decide.

Ok, back to the story. Our group this morning consists of our pilot boat captain David and his brother Mike. Our swim crew will be led by Phillip – knowledgeable local who has not only done the swim before, he’s also got years of competitive swimming as a youth. If the boat breaks down we’re counting on Phillip to rescue us instead.

The rest of the swim crew includes myself, Hubby, Allison and Mike’s wife Patty. Phillip’s wife Claudia and his Labradoodle Jessie Pink are keeping close watch from the shore. Being part Lab, Jessie Pink is beside herself that dad is going into the water without her!

The morning sky is clear, the rising sun is bright, and we’re off. Stroke, stroke, look ahead, stroke. This goes on for quite a while and now we’re between the shore and the island. So much for cutting the swim short by going back. And is someone actually moving the island away from us as we swim? Seems that way.

This is a great lesson in judging distances from the water. Plus there is a bit of tide that gently pushes against us with each stroke. I love swimming in a group though and having our pilot boat circling nearby is a nice safety net. I remember Morgan’s advice to enjoy the experience and so I do some breaststroke to take in the sights.

Half an hour later we’re approaching the island. Phillip and Hubby get there first and their arrival sets off a chain reaction of birds in flight. What a sight! Suddenly we’re blanketed in the air by hundreds of pelicans.

We all gather on the beach and look back at where we came from. Wow, what a feeling of accomplishment. We did it! This swim thing is great. How fun to swim somewhere new. I’m used to the pool – back and forth in laps. Never really getting anywhere but more fit. Or swimming along the shoreline as I’ve been doing this week. Going someplace but not really venturing out into the depths. But swimming to an island – now that’s going somewhere.

Before we get too cold in the early morning breeze we dive back into the water and strike out for home. Not sure if the tide carried us or if it’s a case of traveling a path you know takes less time, but we get back quickly. Claudia and Jessie Pink are thrilled that we’ve arrived in one piece. Phillip is euphoric and suggests an annual spring swim event. Sign me up!

Wrapped in towels, we head back to Phillip & Claudia’s house for espresso on their patio overlooking the water so we can swap tales of our swim to Honeymoon Island…

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