Parque Ecologico Kabah

Lately I’ve been running quite often at Parque Ecologico Kabah (Kabah Eco Park) in downtown Cancun. It’s by far the best place for a run here in the city, with a 2 km trail winding through the jungle with markers every 100 meters.

If you go on a weekday, you’ll see tons of runners sweating their way along the trail, and even some bodybuilders sculpting their physique at the rustic outdoor “gym”.

The "gym"

Most of the trail looks exactly like this, with dense jungle on either side. That's my running buddy Nadia in purple!

There’s also a large playground area which is used a lot on weekends. You’ll see tons of families and school grounds exploring the park on a Saturday or Sunday.

The main playground area

Swings!

More common areas

I’ve seen lots of different animals on my trips there, including crazy huge yellow ants, chacalacas, a snake and coati (known as pizot in Yucatan Maya).

A gold star for anyone who can tell me what kind of ant this is, because I haven't been able to find out.

Ant showing off his spiderman skills

I’d heard about a pond, so I asked Nadia to show it to me on our most recent run. I was absolutely giddy when we came across this:

A huge group of coati! (Can you see them all?)

Run, dude, run!

Thanks for the picture of me, Nadia!

Coati, chickens and ducks living in harmony

Beautiful mangrove pond

So for all you Cancun expats looking for a place to run or explore, Parque Kabah is a favorite of mine. So peaceful and so beautiful!

Yours truly jogging into the sunrise

My Run at the Temptation Resort 5K

Yesterday morning was the 5K race I’ve been going on and on about. I’ve been really nervous for the past 2 months while training, but I discovered that there was nothing to be nervous about!

I woke up at 4:30 am (!!!) for a light breakfast and a little Powerade, then I took the bus down to Temptation Resort in the Hotel Zone. Pretty quickly I ran into a bunch of my friends and coworkers who would also be running. It’s so nice to have people there to cheer you on!

Nadia, me, Trina and Tori before the race

They had closed off a stretch of Kukulcan Boulevard (the main road going through the Hotel Zone) on one side, leaving a nice, palm-tree-lined stretch of road to run along. It was early in the morning and not too hot, so overall it was a pretty pleasant run.

Since this was my first 5K, my goal was pretty much just to finish. I had already completed several training sessions where I did 5K or more, but always mostly walking with some running intervals.

It was hard to measure how much I ran (compared to walking) during the race because the distances were not correctly marked. (The halfway/turnaround point said “3K”… ) From the best I can estimate, I ran the first 1.5K, and ran about 3K overall, a personal best 🙂 I didn’t feel too bad doing some walking because there were many other people walking as well.

My time was 42:07, which was a lot less than I expected! I was 89 out of 107 runners in the women’s category, which goes to show that I wasn’t completely kidding myself.

Trina, Tori and me with our race medals (Photo stolen from Trina, who came in 7th in the women's 5K!)

After the race, they gave out some pretty great fruit snacks!

Several friends have asked when I’ll do another 5K. I gotta admit, it is tempting to try and see if I can beat my time, or even run the entire thing! But then I remember that I hate running.

Thanks to Temptation Resort Spa, CancunCare.com, and all the other sponsors for giving to Kindness for Cancer, such a great cause!

 

Weight Loss and 5K Training

Hopefully this will be one of my last weight loss update posts!

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 1

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 2

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 3

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 4

Diet

Remember that 2-week diet from hell I was just on to get over my end-game weight loss plateau? Well, it worked! I was able to lose 2 whole pounds (1 kg). That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s actually quite good when you’re right near the end. I’m at 132 pounds, with only 4 pounds to go to get to a healthy % body fat. My regular weight loss diet is now back in place (with a few less portions of carbs per day, but still nice), so I’m a happy girl.

My nutritionist even asked me if I wanted to stay where I am or continue. Wow! That means that she thinks I’m A-ok! I told her I wanted to get rid of the last 4 pounds to be at the % body fat that I should be, so onward we go.

Here are some more before and after pics… not very recent, but enough to give you an idea of how my double chin has disappeared! When I get down to my goal weight, I’ll be sure to have some awesome pictures for ya.

Before

After

Exercise

I’ve also decided to train for a 5K that’s coming up in August. This is very scary because I am horrible at running. Always have been. Back in grade school in Virginia we had physical fitness testing twice a year, and I always dreaded running “The Mile”. I was always among the last kids to cross the finish line, and the experience was just humiliating.

And now I’m doing it voluntarily.

This is what happens when you have too many athletic friends to talk you into things.

Most of you have probably heard of the Couch to 5K (C25K) program, and that’s what I’m using to train (along with a few friends). I’m just about to start Week 4 of the program, and it’s going… ok. It’s still unclear if I’ll be able to run the entire 5K without walking, but I will at least cross the finish line without crawling.

Several of my friends will also be participating and a few of them are at about my same level, so we’ve been keeping eachother motivated and even running together on a few occasions.

I started out training on the treadmill at the gym, but trust me: the treadmill is much, much easier than running outside. So this week, after some advice from my friends, I’m starting to do the vast majority of my running outdoors. Cancun has some great areas for running. Maybe I can post about that sometime next week.

What’s the biggest personal challenge you’ve ever overcome?