Monday, March 21, 2016

Woman's Masters Team - Laura Stuart

Laura Stuart

Last year I turned 50 so I decided to change things up a little bit with my running and racing.   It seems like I have spent my masters running career so far trying to fit in as much racing as I can in between injuries and family life with four kids.   After coming off an achilles injury in 2015, I joined the San Diego Track club masters women's team and went with them to San Francisco last December to race at the cross country club nationals.   I had raced at cross country nationals years ago as an open runner, but this was my first time at club nationals.  Wow, what an experience.   I had never seen so many fast over 40 runners in one spot!!!  I am so glad I had a team to run with up there.  We had a blast.   I was coming off a little hip injury and so I didn't expect much in terms of my performance, but I had so much fun racing.   I placed 11th in my age group and 49th master.   I'm pretty sure I haven't faced that tough of competition since when I went to the Olympic Trials.   (and most likely these were all the same women I had raced against back then!)    Next up was the Masters 8k road championships.  I couldn't pass this race up because it was in Brea, and because I wanted to do it last year but got hurt.    Road racing is more my thing, especially hills so this race was really fun.  I had no idea how I was doing during the race because it was a mass start.   Everyone has numbers on their backs indicating their age so all I really knew was that nobody had passed me.    I looked up my results on the computer after the race and was shocked to find out I had won my age division.  I was very surprised because I knew who was there and was pretty sure that even placing at all in my age would be very hard.    The next race I went to the following weekend I decided to step out of my comfort zone.   It was kind of a bucket list kind of a race.  I decided to race at the Indoor track and field nationals in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I signed up for the 3000m.  It was kind of crazy because I had never even seen an indoor track before....I never ran track in high school or college.   I had also never run a 3000 before.    And lastly, I had never run in altitude.   So, needles to say I did not have high expectations for anything spectacular performance-wise.  I was there for the experience and it was unbelievable.  I met so many great people...again several women I had raced at the trials with 20 years ago.   Everyone was inspiring, especially the older runners.    I made a lot of rookie mistakes in my race...went out way too hard, didn't come early enough to adjust to altitude, etc. but all in all I was very satisfied.   I was in 2nd place for the half the race but faded to 5th by the end.  Oh was a great experience that makes me even more excited about my biggest goal of the year.  I am planning to go to Australia next October to race at the World Track and Field Championships in Perth.  I want to run the 8k cross country race, the 5000m on the track, and possibly the 10,000m on the track.    I figure you only live once, right?    I am so glad I have returned to the Track Club again (I raced with them years ago on the Open Women's Team).    It's like I have come back home again!!

- Laura Stuart

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bonfire Potluck

So often we watch the sunrise together; let's spend an evening watching the sunset over a bonfire.

When:  Saturday 3/5 at 4pm
Where: TBA - Mission Beach somewhere
Why: Because we like to have fun!!
Who: Everyone!!!  Friends and family are all invited!

Maureen Dawson will be sending a map so you know how to get to the location.  Please RSVP!

It will be a potluck event

Excited to spend some time with the incredible athletes that make a difference in my life, and meet some new running friends.