“It hurts now but one day it will be your warm-up.” Anon.
Blog by Jamie Broom
2018 was my inaugural year with Rejoov, and even though I’ve run races before, it was the first year when I grew to thoroughly relish my running. The gratification after a tough session on Paddo Hill, the community spirit of a Parkrun, or the mindfulness of a long Sunday effort have become perennial parts of my week.
I was delighted to make a shift from running a half marathon in the 5min/kms to well into the 4min/kms. 2018 taught me that I could convert those runs that hurt into my warm-up pace!
After taking an extended holiday through March, I embarked upon 2019’s running ambitions which included transforming the 2018 ‘hurts’ pace into a 2019 warm-up pace. The May line-up included a pass at a 5k, 10k and 21k.
My first focus was the Rejoov track 5k time trial. With only around 5 weeks from my holiday, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to better my 19:11 5k track debut in February. Arriving at ES Marks with the lights shining down like a Broadway theatre stage, there was a great Rejoov-hosted contingent ready to give it all for twelve and a half loops. My track experience is limited but Greta’s instruction of “90 seconds a lap” seemed simple enough. First lap. 83 seconds. Oops. Second lap. 83 seconds. Oops. I’ve gone too quick. Third lap. 89 seconds. Ok, I’m getting the hang of this. And for the following laps I managed to keep it steady at just under 90 seconds until the final straight where the magnetic force of the finish line gave me one big final pull. 18:34! A PB by 37 seconds!
Next up was the Sydney:10. Last year I managed 44:53 at the Sydney:10 and then went on to a 43:05 PB at the Sydney Harbour 10k. However, based on the recent 5k experience, I was aspiring for a sub-40 time.
My race effort started the night before with a good deal of self-control at the work end of year party! Race morning was perfect with the elegant blue Sydney autumn sky overhead. My plan was to go out at just under 4min/km and see if I could persist. As I made my way along Olympic Boulevard at the 2-3km mark I was feeling strong and spotting many other Rejoovers. The second lap began with the slight slope down from the stadium and being well on course in 18:53 at half way. I generally prefer out and back courses versus laps but I was feeling ready to attack the last few kms. At around 8-9km I saw Greta on course and was given a shout of encouragement to push for the end as we reversed back up the slight slope. A final, painful lap around the track and I crossed in 38:36. A 4:29 PB. I’d clearly made it look easy at the end as Chris’s post-race comment of “you looked like you were running with an injury on the final straight” shows! Note to self: save a bit more for the end next time.
The final part of my PB hat-trick attempt was the SMH half-marathon. In 2018 I managed a 98:05 time. This year my ambitious aim was sub-90. As luck would have it, we were blessed with another perfect blue Sydney morning. Fresh from Saturday’s news of the astonishing Rejoov UTA performances, I felt inspired. The 6:45am start made pre-race fuelling tricky and a 3:45am alarm the necessary investment for what was hopefully to come. As the excitement bubbled away in the start pen, and the legendary race announcer reminded everybody of his long-standing race record (again), I was visualising my race and the hills to come. We set off on Macquarie Street with the pack gliding down like a school of fish before the turn at Circular Quay where the first of around 15 hills began.
As we wiggled through the CBD, arced around Darling Harbour, and undulated in Pyrmont, I was sticking with the 85 min pacing group. I didn’t think it possible that I’d finish in this kind of time but I felt comfortable enough being pulled around with this pack so just held on. A wave from Grant and Michael just before 12km and I was still feeling ready for what was to come. As we were delivered back into the CBD by the Western Distributor, I started feeling the onset of a dreaded stomach cramp. I’d not had this for many months but it has ruined a couple of prior races. I tried some big breaths and after a few hundred metres it disappeared, just in time for the ascent to the Sydney Observatory. Phew! Why the cruel race planners ever thought it a good idea to take the participants from sea level to one of the highest points in Sydney around two-thirds into the run I’ll never know! However, it’s also the hill I’ve used with work colleagues (including one half of Team Zammie) many times. So I powered on up and picked 3 different runners to chase down until the top. After the oddly quiet journey over Circular Quay, I turned onto Macquarie Street again. In a moment of de ja vu I saw Greta on course and near the end, just like in the Sydney:10. Another big shout of encouragement and it was time for the smarting slingshot around Mrs Macquarie’s Chair before running only a few metres into Hyde Park and over the line. 87:36. A 21k PB by 3:36 and 10:29 quicker than last year. That’ll do.
So May went pretty well as far as converting running times which used to hurt into warm-up times. However, this is hopefully just the start as I aim to push on towards a 21k in the 3 min/kms (and I’m not getting ahead of myself, 3:59 will do!), get a sub-18min 5k and conquer the missing marathon distance at Sydney Blackmore in September. From Greta setting my program to the whole crew supporting all the way, running with Rejoov continues to be fulfilling and fun. For anyone who dislikes running and thinks it hurts, I will now be telling them to never give up and it may hurt now but one day it will be your warm-up.