Mena’s joy of racing at the Cobble Hill 10K expressed as gratitude to her fellow runners
I want to begin by sharing with you that I feel participating in the Vancouver Island Race Series alongside elite-to-recreational athletes is an honour.
The truth is, my primary sport was on the ice, and shortly after retiring from show skating, I needed to channel my passion for physical activity in a new way. I fell in love with my running for many reasons, may be like some of yours; the flexibility of the 24-hour open gym — I could go anytime, the variety in the scenery and soon the opportunity to create a space for others to enjoy this common passion. The sport of running is unique. What other sport combines elite, recreational and potentially first-time participants into the same race?
Now that I am officially classified as a middle-aged athlete, I thought I would share with you my Cobble Hill 10K experience.
Right from the start line I embraced gratitude. I am so grateful to be able to be physically active in a beautiful place. A huge thank you to all the residents of Cobble Hill who welcomed us to their beautiful neighbourhood and for flattening out most of the hills ;)…!
My performance? Well, I now gauge performance by “lived experience” and no longer watch the clock, but I do anticipate with joy kilometre markers or a safety vest-wearing volunteer as I pass by, cheering me on and pointing me in the right direction. Thank you to all the organizers and the impressive group of volunteers and sisters.
Years ago, my passion for physical activity led me to create a group called Sole Sisters Victoria, and still to this day we continue to meet in groups, clinics, and strength train together. At Cobble Hill, there were five of us Sole Sisters out there on the course.
A sister’s mantra is to begin celebrating right from the start line because we all know that is the hardest place to get to. I will go as far as saying, I really enjoyed this event, pushing myself with an edge of tenacity. Now do not misinterpret that, it still hurt. However, as we all know, seeing the final arch at the line melted all the pain away and shortly after, really just simply wanted to do it all over again (maybe not right away — you know).
My post-race event routine is always to turn around and run back to find the next sister in sight. it is like participating in multiple events all on the same day as I get to celebrate their finish lines with them. It truly is an honour.
So, what did the last 72 hours involve? My recovery run on Monday was enjoyed on my stationary bike and then an upper body gym workout with lots of water throughout the day. I did a short run on Tuesday and with amusement questioned how I ever managed 10K. The legs felt heavy, but I knew a good stretch and a soak in the hot tub would rejuvenate me.
So, what is the real message that I want to share with anyone who has endured reading this to the last line? Being physically active is a lifestyle choice however you choose to live it.
The beautiful sport of running, welcomes all levels of athletes to participate in community events. It truly is inspiring.
And what is my favourite part about participating? Cheering on a fellow runner. I know they are working, just as hard as I am, despite the rank in which they finish before or after me. We are each pushing ourselves to a place of discomfort and together, it brings us comfort when we hear our name as we approach the finish line.
Thank you to the Vancouver Island Race Series for bringing us all together!
Enjoy the next race, Sunday, February 12 at the Cedar 12K