Friday, January 20, 2012

Exercise South of the Equator...

For 6 weeks after CIM I did no running. Partially, I wanted to give my body a rest after what was a pretty big buildup (for me) and fast, hard marathon.

As it turned out, it was perfect timing because I also had a lot of work to get done before the holidays. On the 27th Toni and I went on a trip to the Galapagos Island (Ecuador) and Peru.

These were not 'lazy-around' trips. There was plenty of walking/hiking and in the Galapagos, deep water snorkeling. I did a post a while back about surface diving as cardio. I got to do plenty of it there.

The water was cold even with shorty wetsuits, especially off Isabella Island which is hit full smack on by the Humboldt current. Let me tell you, runners are not good candidates for survival in cold water. You want to be as fat as possible. 

Add to that the fact that surface diving in a floaty wetsuit  and no weight belt makes things hard and you have plenty of cardio.

Here's some pictures of Galapagos Sharks.  There were dozens of them down about 12-20'...The first one turned away just as I got to his level, sigh. 

The one on the right I snapped from shallower can see a deeper one in the upper left of the shot

There were a lot of huge schools of fish.. here's some

After these snorkels sometimes I was so cold I had to run hot shower water on myself for a loooong time. I also lazed around like these guys do 
after their hunting expeditions. Look how comatose mom is while the young (6 weeks?) baby gets to suckle.. Later, she gets a thank you kiss for her efforts.

We did get to swim with the sea lions a few times. I was never bothered by any of them but sometimes the young ones will buzz you and blow bubbles just to see you freak out. I just saw big ones swimming by to go off to work (to catch fish).

The Galapagos is also the home of the only species of sea-going (marine) iguana. They feed on underwater algae and get rid of the extra salt they pick up by accumulating it in a gland in their noses...they then 'sneeze' out the salt from time to time when re-warming themselves on land. 

We did see guys swimming under water while snorkeling. I was not lucky enough to see one eating though. 

They get up to 3 feet long or so.

I'm still creating my "best of" album, but if you want an early look you can go here and click on 'slideshow'. Still lots of photos to add and captions too.

Next: hiking at Machu Picchu.


  1. Nice photos. I sometimes see reef sharks, black tips while diving here in the islands.

  2. It looks like you had a great trip :-)

    And what fantastic photos!!

    I'm looking forward to seeing you both In Berlin :-)

  3. These are GREAT pictures!

    Thanks for all the thoughts on my swimming. I came to the realization myself that there was no way I could put all that energy into kicking. I will have to ask about a triathlon person for swimming lessons. Emily had said the same thing. I am not sure I am going to wear a wet suit. I am definitely not going to buy one. I am very unsure what to do about that issue. I think it would help a lot with my position which tends to be to sink but I worry about getting it off to say nothing about finding one. I am feeling good I can do rhythmic breathing and move forward. I am sure I will do a mix of the free and the breast for resting and sighting. And I have come to really hate the flutter kick myself.

    1. Hi Ajh,

      Just trying out the new blogger 'reply' feature..come back and do a reply to the reply if you want..

      wet suits are a REAL help when swimming. You are lifted a bit out of the water so the drag is reduced. You don't want too tight or too loose a fit though. Tight makes it hard to breath and get off...loose and you don't stay as warm.

      If you are not going to wear a wet suit you'll need to work hard on your kick to keep your legs up...drooping legs are a huge drag on you. I have this problem in spades.

  4. Excellent pictures! I love the wildlife there, my aunt went a few years ago and must have took over a thousand pictures of all the critters! but sharks? Um, I'm just a little too paranoid about them, no way I'd be getting close, no matter how harmless they may be. Too scary.


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