Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cozumel Daily Diary, part cuatro

The Vacation Part! Yay!

Part of me wishes I could tell you about several exciting adventures I participated in post race but I have nothing. I am delighted to tell you how nice it was to do . . . nothing. As an individual who tends to schedule, reschedule, and over-schedule herself, it was a nice break to have almost a full week at my disposal with nothing scheduled. The morning after the race I woke up early with two fairly stiff legs. Unable to sleep, I walked into town to see if I could catch my mom on her way to the ferry for her return trip home. Unfortunately I missed her but the more I walked the better my legs felt so I continued to walk around until I stopped at Rock'n'Java for a ginormous cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast. I was so excited about my breakfast I almost ordered another round but I opted to call it quits at one round and head back to the apartment to rattle off some emails to some interested parties. It didn't take long to bore myself with my own emails, I headed a bit further up the street to spend the rest of the day lounging beach side with the rest of the Charlotte folks. With my toes in the water and my ass in the sand, I had no a worry in the world and a margarita in my hand. Hmmmmmm, I feel like that should be song or something . . . .

The best part of Monday? Getting a chance to hang with the girls for once. Hanging with the girls started with a few girly drinks ocean side at Hotel Cozumel. It eventually lead to talking smack about the boys. Talking smack about the boys was simply a nice break from a summer of watt talk and I-am-so-awesome declarations from the boys. While my training partners are all the most talented and supportive athletes in Charlotte they are also dudes and sometimes a girl just needs a break from all the awesomeness. The day ended with a huge group dinner at Rock'n'Java (seriously the place is great) bringing a bittersweet closure to a year of hard training that helped to forge new friendships and strengthen old ones. Even as I write this I am a bit overcome with sadness to realize it has all come to an end. All of us are going to go our separate ways with new goals and challenges to tackle. I am thrilled to be a part of Chris, Jamie, and Sarah's first ironman experience while sharing in veteran-hood with Jonathan and Causebrook. I am so proud of everyone's hard work and excellent races! I enjoy training and racing but for me there is a huge social aspect to it. I know lots of people who prefer to train by themselves but if I did not surround myself with so many great people, it simply would not be worth it. 

Pre-race nervous laughter
Post-race deer-in-the-headlightsness
I digress, sniff-tissue-sniff-sniff. After a fun filled Monday I unplugged. I put away the computer and I packed all of my race and workout gear. I checked in every now and then but for the most part I disconnected so I could take full advantage of my first true vacation in over two years. Unfortunately right when I entered full vacation mode the clouds rolled in and it started raining. I took the opportunity to tour the island via jeep visiting Punta Sur, the ecological park at the tip of the island, as well as the undeveloped eastern side. Overall the wildlife was pretty quiet but I did see an alligator lounging lagoon side, a spoonbill feverishly feeding in the distance, and a coati scurry across the sand path. The pending rain storm drummed up some strong waves and I got to witness some geological formations known as blowholes in action. With the rain clearing out I spent the rest of the week kicking back by the beach. When I wasn't at the beach I was exploring the local restaurants with reckless abandon. While I love Rock'n'Java as a go to place for any meal my favorite dining experience was at a little restaurant off the beaten path called Kondesa. It was rated as the #1 restaurant in Cozumel on TripAdvisor so I assumed it was just another tourist trap (there are PLENTY!) but to my delight it lived up to every expectation I had for it and then some. I was so happy with Kondesa I went to its sister restaurant, Kinta, the next night and sampled all of their margaritas. Yes, all of them. Don't judge, it was my last night! My two weeks in Cozumel concluded with a nice long massage with Jennifer Pobiak from Blue Dahlia Wellness. I highly highly recommend you see her if you happen to be in Cozumel.

View of inland lagoon
Coast and lagoon view from the lighthouse
Resident alligator at Punta Sur
Unfortunately all good things come to an end. Luckily when it was time to board the plane to Cancun I was ready to say goodbye to the island and come home. The race and the vacation gave me a lot to dwell on and some decisions to make. Very soon I should have very good news to share. Stay tuned . . . 

Mainland Mexico via tiny plane