Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pyramid Scheme

Welcome to Riviera Maya. I hope you enjoy the little excursion. Tips in pesos por favor. Gracias.
Since this is an endurance blog, here are the training routines I did while in Mexico. Run 5 times, no run longer than 45 minutes. Lift weights for upper body 3 times. Swim alot, snorkel alot. No monitoring of heart rates, or VO Max was done while on this vacation. Still, the workouts were all very good and it was nice to not lose sight of the big picture while enjoying the time with the Bride.

Now, the quick tour. This is the lost Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Its become an incredible tourist attraction. Named recently as one of the new, 7 wonders of the world, Chichen Itza is spellbinding, and compelling. Come here close to noon and its hotter than a habanero pepper in a kiln.

This is the Pyramid of the Kulkulcans. 365 steps, if you count the platform on top. The Mayans were very advanced. Everything here was built with a purpose. Legend has it that during the winter and summer equinox's the sun shadow creates the form of a serpent on the side of the pyramid.

I wanted this to be one of my workouts, but I was told, climbing the ruin is now frowned upon. Only on special occasions, I am told can visitors head up. So much for that workout!!!

The society had its classes. High Priests, elders, leaders on top, along with............. the ball players... Not much different than today. The ballplayers had more significance. Today ballplayers earn huge amounts and get featured on "Cribs". Back then, the ball players competed in the ball court, when occasions called. You see, if things were not right with the universe in the Mayans minds.(Drought, for instance) the ball court would be used for a game. The object was to get a rubber ball, about 6 pounds in weight, through the ring, 22 feet up.

The teams had 7 players, with one exceptional talent on each team trying to score. Think Kobe vs LeBron. The player who scored would be hailed by the thousands. Today, the player gets a spot on Oprah. Back then, the player was put to death, according to legend. It was a reward and was not thought as a bad thing. The next life was something to strive for. I'll take the spot on Oprah.

There are many sites around Chichen Itza to explore. Very fascinating. I want to go back to Mexico and see many more of the ruins around the country. It would be cool to do a running tour over a few weeks period and see the sights.

Could I pass up a trip to the Island of Women??? Isla Mujeres. Even with the Bride keeping a close eye on me???? Course not. Its 45 min ferry boat ride from Cancun. You can explore the rocky coasts, snorkel, swim, lay out..even walk all the way to the far eastern edge of the island and see more Mayan ruins. The one with flat top at end of island looks like an outdoor barbeque compared to Chichen Itza. The Brides analysis, not mine.

Be mindful of the iguanas. Hey its their island, not mine. There are even, Iguana Crossing Signs on the island. Hey, they look both ways.

Above the cliffs at Royal Garrafon are zip lines. Caught, the Bride taking off on her run.

If you have a weird sense of humor (Blush) you would think the zip line is only for pregnant women, or people that are drunk. At least thats how I interpreted it..Ha.!!
All, in all, Mexico was amazing. From Cancun, to Playa del Carmen, it was an incredible trip.


About a week ago, we ran the piece on the soon to be 19 year old Ironman, Kaleb Kaschalk. Hopefully, this LINK will get you there. Kaleb is at around 25-hundred dollars raised, all for cancer research as his grandfather died of cancer 2 years ago.


Props to one of my childhood buddies, Darrell Nagy and his son, Stephen. Dad and son have done some marathons together in Virginia. Dad nails his in the 3:50 range and son is right there with dad. Congrats!!! May your runs be long, and your lives, longer.


Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

We went to cancun many many many years ago and were able to climb the steps at the pyramids at chitzen itza. Went back last year, and discovered no more tourists on the steps. I guess that is probably a good idea to keep it preserved.

happy trails!

Lily on the Road said...

Let me know when you organise the running tour, I'm in.

"Legend has it that during the winter and summer equinox's the sun shadow creates the form of a serpent on the side of the pyramid".

...hey, being born in the year of the snake like me, no wonder there was a connection!

thank you so much, I haven't been to Mexico for almost twenty years...thanks for the memories....

Viv said...

Great pictures! Awesome job on getting some, umm relaxed workouts in. LOL!
That is so cool what the Bride did.

I thought I had misread the guidlines. I read it twice to make sure. It says it correct in spanish.

Thanks for sharing the great trip :-)

Bill said...

Very nice post John, love the pictures. The Pyramids and ruins have always intrigued me, Especially those in Chitzen Itza.
Glad you had a nice vaca.


Marcy said...

Uggghh I'm so jealous! Bummer that you couldn't get your stair climbing exercising in there. I didn't realize you couldn't climb up anymore. BUMMER!

Kurt said...

Great pictures. Those stairs would be great to run up. Hopefully one day you can run those bad babies like a dozen times.

Rainmaker said...

Great pictures! The one of the cliffs/water is incredible. Looks like you had a blast!

jahowie said...

It looks like you had an amazing trip!! Thanks for posting the pics.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful pics...thanks for sharing them with us :)

Oh yeah, I would totally be tempted to run up those ruins!!

The Lazy Triathlete said...

I enjoy the Mayan culture. Tulum is also an incredible place.

Wes said...

I just shipped my son off to Mexico for spring break. So far so good. Loved the right up with the pics. Totally cool...

RunBubbaRun said...

Great places to visit, went there along time ago.. Looked like a great time. C'mon no pic of you on the ZIP line?

Darrell said...

Beautiful. I'm glad you were able to escape the never ending winter (or so I've heard) for a time.

Tri to Be Funny said...

What a blast! I guess since the Bride is a buff pilates insructor, she doesn't let you get much rest!! Welcome back to reality :-)

UntPawGal02 said...

That pyramid would have been an awesome workout!

Smithposts said...

Great pictures! Looks like you and the Bride had a lot of fun.

Patricio said...

Great pics man. I'm going to cancun in Sept for the first time... can't wait!
I might even do the HIM there!

skoshi said...

Very nice post. We spent 2 weeks in Baja this past January--first trip to Mexico, but hope to go back. No ruins, but lots of ocean and warm weather. Saw whales.
We found a home grown internet "cafe" on the porch of a neighborhood house (2 computers).
Our "endurance" workouts consisted of lots of swims, and a few runs and hikes.
Thanks for the post.

Topher said...

Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. I love finding new blogs to read. Incredible pictures; I've never been but would love to. Best of all was the rule #3. So I have to be drunk or somehow prego to do it? Hmmmm, too bad for me. I used to live in Japan and I could fill pages of all the misinterpretations I saw.