Posted by: Thida | September 22, 2011

Run, Skip, Jump…Minus the Run

(Pour mes amis francophones, voir ci-dessous pour la version en français)

Many of my friends have been asking me lately if I’ve been able to run in Honduras. The answer is no. It’s been 4 months and I haven’t been able to run at all. Ok, that’s not quite true. I did run (read “jog”) 1 km with my backpack in the attempt to catch the bus.

I also ran 2 and ½ blocks after some thugs who had stolen Caroline’s wallet (she’s fine; we’re all fine…More on that story maybe another time).

I started running on a treadmill in 2003 and running outside in 2006. I make the distinction between the two because, as many of you runners out there know, there’s a HUGE difference between running on a treadmill and running while facing the elements. Ever since I started running in the real world I fell in love with it. I ran all year long: rain, shine or snow (Montreal girl through and through!)

Of course, there were some highs and lows. I got minor injuries which forced me to take breaks. I also got bored at times which made me discovered other sports. But through all that, running was always a part of my life. I would say it was a major part of my social life as well since I met many of my current friends through running.

This is the longest time I’ve gone without running. I really miss it.

Why am I not running in Honduras? Let’s see…

  1. It’s very hot and sticky here. During the day, it’s usually around 35oC but it actually feels closer to 40oC. This means that for me to have a comfortable run, I should go at 6 am or late in the evening when the sun is down. Easy right? Let’s see points 2 and 3.
  2. It’s not safe to walk outside when it’s dark here, especially if you’re alone, especially if you’re a woman (if I had a nickel every time someone told me this…) These are safety rules I need to follow, and the reality is that Honduras is a more violent country.
  3. Dogs are everywhere. During the day, dogs just pass by you and don’t bother you. At night, they own the street: barking, fighting and running after cars. I really don’t feel like spicing up my runs with dogs chasing me. That’s not the way I do sprints!
  4. “Girls don’t run here.” Now, part of me thinks that it shouldn’t stop me. Heck, girls can run too! However, I am trying to keep a low profile for the reasons mentioned in point 2. Although I doubt it’s even possible for me to have a low profile: una chinita (little chinese girl) in San Lorenzo is quite obvious!

So what do I do? I skip rope. My skipping rope is probably one of the best items I packed with me from Montreal. Skipping rope is a great cardiovascular workout! I don’t know how I used to do it when I was a kid but it’s hard!

For strength training, I do my routine with an elastic band – another great item I brought from home.

So I do that about 3-4 times a week. In terms of other physical activity, I could also add our occasional weekend hikes. And of course, it’s worth mentioning that we also dance quite a bit. How can we not? This is Central America! Baila!



Plusieurs d’entre vous m’ont demandé si j’arrive à courir au Honduras. La réponse : non! Ça fait maintenant 4 mois que je suis ici et je n’ai pas couru du tout! Bon, ce n’est pas tout à fait vrai. J’ai couru 1 km (« courir » est un grand mot ici) avec mon sac à dos essayant d’attraper le bus.

J’ai aussi couru 2 coins de rue et ½ après des voyous qui ont piqué le porte-monnaie de Caroline (elle va bien, tout le monde va bien…Je vous en dirais peut-être plus à un autre moment).

J’ai commencé à courir sur un tapis roulant en 2003. À partir de 2006, j’ai commencé à courir dehors. Je fais la distinction parce qu’il y a une GRANDE différence entre les deux! Depuis, la course a vraiment été une passion pour moi. Je courrais peu importe la température, malgré la pluie, le vent ou la neige (je suis montréalaise après tout).

Bien sûr, il y a eu des hauts et des bas. J’ai aussi eu quelques blessures légères qui m’ont forcée à prendre des pauses. Parfois, j’avais aussi besoin de changement ce qui m’a permis de découvrir différents sports. Malgré tout ça, la course est restée dans ma vie, non seulement pour être en forme, mais également pour l’aspect social. En effet, c’est à travers la course que j’ai rencontré la plupart de mes amis aujourd’hui.

Je n’ai jamais passé autant de temps sans courir depuis que j’ai commencé. Ça me manque vraiment.

Vous vous demandez pourquoi je ne cours pas au Honduras? Voici :

  1. C’est très chaud et humide ici. Durant le jour, il fait généralement 35oC, mais la température ressentie est autour de 40oC. Ce qui veut dire que je devrais courir tôt le matin ou en soirée. Facile, n’est pas? Voyons les points 2 et 3.
  2. Ce n’est pas recommandé de marcher lorsqu’il fait noir, surtout pas seule, surtout pas si tu es une fille (on me l’a tellement dit ça!). Ce sont des règles de sécurité que je dois respecter. La réalité est que le Honduras est un pays plus violent que le Canada.
  3. Les chiens sont partout. Durant le jour, il n’y a pas de problème. Ils ne dérangent pas. La nuit par contre, ils sont maîtres de la rue : ils jappent, se battent et courent après les voitures. Disons que je n’ai pas vraiment le goût de faire des sprints avec des chiens derrière moi.
  4. « Les filles ne courent pas ici ». Parfois je me dis que c’est ridicule et je devrais courir si ça me tente. Les filles PEUVENT courir! Cependant, j’essaie de ne pas trop attirer l’attention pour les raisons évoquées aux points 2 et 3. Quoique je doute que ce soit efficace : una chinita (petite chinoise) à San Lorenzo ne passe pas incognito!

Alors, c’est quoi ma stratégie? Je saute à la corde. Ma corde à sauter est probablement l’item le plus utile que j’ai apporté de Montréal. C’est un super entraînement cardio. Je ne sais pas comment je faisais lorsque j’étais petite, mais ce n’est pas facile!

J’ai aussi un élastique – un autre item utile du Canada –avec lequel je fais mes entraînements d’endurance.

Alors je fais ma petite routine de corde à sauter et d’élastique 3-4 fois par semaine. En ce qui a trait à d’autres activités physique, j’ajouterais aussi nos randonnées occasionnelles lors de nos sorties. Sans oublier, la dance le weekend! Après tout, on est en Amérique centrale! Baila!



  1. Thida,

    How wonderful to hear from you – I was just thinking the other day I hadn’t seen a recent post. I hadn’t thought about the effect of your travels on your running possibilities, but having been in Jamaica and South America, I completely understand items 2 and 3 above! I’m so pleased to hear that you are dancing a lot – great cardio as you say. Emma and I took salsa and merengue lessons in the winter and next week we start swing. That will be so much fun – I’m looking forward to it. Too bad Paul doesn’t really enjoy dancing – but alas, although he really enjoys music, timing and counting isn’t something he seems to manage to carry to the dance floor. Instead we are off to the symphony again this year – and that’s lovely too.

    Take care and thanks for keeping us all up to date! Corinne

    • Hi Corinne! It’s great to hear from you too! How fun that Emma and you are taking all these fun dancing classes! Thanks so much for the update!
      Take care now!

  2. I love your post! It seems you are able to keep up with a nice work out routine. I feel like I’m only running after the kids…. Glad to hear your are dancing quite a bit, thats a great exercice! I hope to see you during your little visit! XXX Marianne

    • Can’t wait to see you Marianne! Bisous xo

  3. Hey- if I didn’t run I’m not sure what I’d do – take dancing I suspect. Lynda and I are running every second day at Elk lake. Weather is still fab here – sunny almost every day. I wish summer would never end. My daughter is taking hip hop and belly dancing. Enticed! I need to do stuff at night to get out of the house. I have my 2 book clubs that have started up again but I likely need some other extracurricular activities. Oh yes I have a Pilates class which keeps my body from falling apart. And I do at least one Sudoku puzzle a day. Hardly physical fitness but mentally good I hope. We spent a great month in PEI this summer. Weather was the pits but visits with family and friends were terrific. Both my kids made it too to celebrate my Mom’s BD. We rented a cottage on the beach for a week to share with them and that encouraged them to come. It was a real treat to be all together. That’s my life…. We miss you. Take care and be safe! Janice

    • Hi Janice! So great to hear from you! It seems like you have lots of extracurricular activities lined up! I’m also happy to know that you had a nice vacation. Hope it’s not too crazy at work. Miss you guys too! xo

  4. Me, too, I love skipping rope, but don’t do it as much as I’d like!

    But I’d love to know what you do with an elastic band!!! Hmmm, that sounds great!

    Thanks for the great explanation of why you don’t run – it brings the whole situation into such a clear picture of life over there!

    Best, Minda

    • Hi Minda! Great to hear from you! I guess I’ll have to show you a demo of the type of workout we can do with an elastic band. :) Take care now xo

  5. Salut ma chère. Bring back your running gear in case you can pencil in a little run with the RR girls :) Nothing too hard… perhaps if you are up for it le Mont-Royal? :) You will have to show Chocho how to skip a rope… I’m sure you guys would have a good laugh!

    • Hey Lan! I’d love to go for a run. I’m probably totally out of shape though! Ya, it would be pretty funny to skip rope with Chocho! Miss you guys! xox

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