What I’ve been up to!

So having had a very busy last few weeks, I had a very relaxing week off work last week. I feel so much fresher for it!

I would probably write a 50,000 word essay if I went through everything that has happened in the last few weeks so instead I’m going to do a bit of a photo blog with a few comments instead, so enjoy!

shedweb

So this month saw another run out at Kingsholm and another battering! But it was a fun day and again loved every minute of having a run out at Kingsholm.

 

Tour fly halfThe season then ended with TOURQUAY 2013 and what a tour it was. No your eyes are not playing tricks on you that really is me at 10. The game was one of the most fun games i’ve been part of and it was a great way to close out the season with the lads.

cycling bike ride

 

So this week off i’ve finally got back out on the bike and clocked up some decent miles- 160 of them to be precise. Its been awesome to find time to get out on the bike and I’m looking forward to many more of them in the coming months. Starting from tomorrow, i’m aiming to commute to work at least 3-4 times a week, so it means an early start but hopefully a big kick up the arse for my fitness!

 

eagle bird of prey

 

I’ve also found some time to chill out with my lovely girlfriend Em, which has included an awesome day out at The Bird of Prey Centre in Newent!

So thats it in short form. I’ve got a lot coming up in the next few months; Em’s Birthday, Sevens, Dinner dance, Cycling and much much more. I’m feeling pretty good at the moment. Things seem tobe on track at the moment and hopefully that will continue.

Till next time, hope you are all well and catch you soon,

Cheers,

 

Russ

x

 

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Update 29/10/12

So yeah i’ve been really, really crap at updating this thing, so sorry about that, Still no time like the present to put that right.

Its been a fairly manic few weeks, most of my time has been monopolised by Work and Rugby, but it has started to settle down a little now.

As a result of this i’ve been a bit lazy with the diet and exercise, but hitting 31 has made me determined to get back into all of that. So starting back today, its bye bye crap food, hello gym, and starting on the path to getting under 14 stone. It won’t be easy but I am determined to do it. I’ve seen such  a benefit to my health already i’m determined to get even better.

So what have I been up to lately…

Birthday weekend:

So lets start with the Birthday weekend. It was a quietish but fun one. Sadly I had to work on the day of my birthday, but thankfully it was a fairly stress free day and soon passed by. Then it was off home to get my pressies and cards off the lovely Em!
The first present was an awesome gaming chair:

 

Its the best present ever! I also had some cool pic frames with some of my fave pics from Lejog in, the XX Cd some money to sort the car out (much needed as it needs new tyres, brake pads and electrics!)

From here it was off down the road to Cheltenham for a curry and a night out with the always lovely Caz and Tom. It was great to see them and I very much envy their new house!

The next day I had a good game of rugby and then watch Glos in one of the best games i’ve seen.
Misc

In other news, i am very much keen to get back out on the bike, but it is in need of a good service at the minute, as after the 100 miler to London its in pieces. So once the car is sorted i’ll be giving it a proper service and some much needed TLC. From there i’ll aim to start getting back out on sundays for 30 miles or so and build back up to it. I miss getting out on the bike and the stress relief it provides.

I hopefully will have a couple of big rides lines up soon, i’mm keen to take on another challenge, but nothing concrete yet so don’t want to say to much at this point! so watch this space!

Rugby is so much fun this year. Being captain is challenging but i’m part of a great bunch of lads, and i’m confident we are in for a good season.

I am currently enjoying Arrow, Chicago fire and Dexter on the tv, mumford and sons, Bastille, Walk the moon and Muse musically and on the PS3 Dishonored, Resident Evil 6 and Borderlands 2.

 

Right thats enough babble from me for now, i’ve got to get myself down the gym, but i promise i will do my best to check back in more frequently.

All my bags are packed….

But i’m not leaving on a jet plane. Now I’m  leaving by car.

Yes in the sitcom that is my life, things haven’t quite gone to plan. For you see apparently First Great Western have no reservable spaces on their trains for bikes, so I cannot run the risk of not getting the bike on the train. So now I am driving and Em is bringing the car back. Which will be an adventure for her as She has not driven in years!

But finally I am packed and ready to go. I’ve had to make some last minute kit purchases, to cater for the lovely wet weather (some drought!) and had to  fly to Gloucester to grab a bike rack (thanks Julie and Neil!) Tomorrow we leave about 11, with one nervous driver who will be anxious about the bike the whole way. When there we will meet with Em’s parents in Penzance, camp over for the night (going to be fun in this weather!) then I have to be at Land’s End for 9AM, with a 10AM set off.

I’m not going to lie my emotions are all over the place at the moment. One minute i’m excited, the next i’m nervous. I’ll suddenly worry if i’ve trained enough, if my ankle will be ok, if i’ve filled paper work out ok, if i will finish. Then I think about the support, why I’m doing it, my dad, Em, my family etc and i feel confident again. I think this will be the run of things till I start. Once i’m doing something i’m fine and the nerves go away and I focus on the task at hand. But up to that point I worry like an idiot!

I’ve decided that it can piss down all it likes, the wind can be against me the whole way, the trains can fuck me around, and all sorts of other stuff, thats fine. All it means is that when I hit John O’Groats, the feeling of accomplishment will be all the greater.

So now its time to kick back and relax! Hopefully i’ll get a good nights sleep and be ready for a long day of travelling tomorrow, but i’m already buzzing I just want to get going now.

So when I thought of doing this a year ago I never imagined how big it would all become and I have you all to thank for that. To everyone who has taken the time to read my blog, comment, send me messages of good luck, donate, be moved by my stories or shared it with others thank you. Its because of you I am where i am. To Em, Wills,Raines, mum, degs, stu, the shedweb lions, Dowty RFC, Caz, Tom, Will, Raines, Ash, Craig, Dizzy, Julie and Neil, Bob and Danny and all the others who’ve helped me train, given me lifts, texted me or kicked my arse thank you. None of this would happen without you all. And to anyone who has doubted me thank you, I thrive on proving people wrong, your lack of belief spurs me on all the more.

I will be recording the ride as I go but have no idea how often I can post, but i will update you all as much as I can.

Right i’ll see you all out there!

Love,

Russ

www.justgiving.com/russell-brookes

Update 09/04/12

So it’s been an eventful week or so. With the deadlines of everything fast approaching my free time is becoming less and less, its taken a bank holiday to find time to update the blog! So yes its all coming up scarily quick now and I’m working hard to make sure i’m in shape and ready and that everything is organised.

And wow did my blog yesterday touch a nerve! I asked some friends to share the blog and appealled for support and I certainly got it, in the last two days this blog has been viewed 329 times, which is staggering and I’ve had an amazing amount of money donated my way to the point that i’ve hit my initial fundraising target! This now puts added pressure on me to ensure that I put on some great events, and cycle my fat arse accross this great country. So with that in mind its time to get serious, get my head down and focus on training. But first lets get you all up to date:

The first thing i’ve done lately, is to ensure I maintain a serious and professional appearance at all times, so it was vital I got a new helmet, to go with that look:

I’m sure with this look everyone will take me very seriously….

Bike:

So not done a lot of fitness this week, as my bowels decided to put a stop to that. I had a real issue all week that finally went thursday but left me needing to rest up. Luckily I was able to do that and get out on the bike over the weekend. I rode to Glos on the sat and then back on the sunday. It was good to get out and do two days back to back and a much needed boost to the confidence as I felt good doing it. The late evening ride on the sunday, although windy was brilliant and a geat end to the weekend. I cannot stress how eager I am to get out on the bike now and earn all the support i’ve had.

Annoyingly I am working next saturday and out on the sunday so its getting hard to find time to get out on the bike before I go and I need to find time to get out on it. I’ve only got three weeks to go now and would feel better getting out as much as possible. Luckily with it being lighter in the evenings I can get out at night now so thats what i will have to do.

Rugby

So the Dowtys season has now come to an end, with a good win over Cheltenham Civil service. It has been a good season over all with a great ending and plans are afoot for the next one already, I can’t wait!

Two games left this year, luckily they are minor affairs…. one at Kingsholm the other 24 hours plus… so piece of piss really.

Two training sessions left now for the shedweb game, its flying up on us. I cannot wait for the game, and the lads are training hard so should be a belter.

Fundraising

Cycling:

http://www.justgiving.com/Russell-Brookes

current total: £3,610

100% reached.

Just wow, I cannot believe the support I have had, I am staggered. Yesterday I was a long way off the target, but thanks to a massive donation from someone I’ve hit the target. I’ve had some smaller, but by no means less significant donations that have helped rocket the total up. Every penny is a big help and I know the charity appreciate it so thank you to all who’ve given so far.

I have now set a larger target of £4,500 which would pretty much destroy me if we hit that, but now I’ve hit the initial target I need to push on all the more. I’d had a flat few days, with the bug, missing dad etc, but you lot really have lifted me.

Rugby:

http://www.justgiving.com/shedweb24hoursofrugby

Current total:

£940

31% of total reached

Again a great start and with more due to come in. We now have some sponsors who I will start to reveal as the money comes in.

We have now sorted the first aid, publicity will be starting soon and things are really taking shape.

The shirts are now finished:

We still have a few weeks to go and loads to do but its all getting there!

We have some sponsors taking shape as well now and i cannot believe how much we have accomplished.

So thats a snap shot of how things are shaping up.

Before I dash off, as I’ve so much to do, I just want to thank everyone for reading my blog, sharing links to it and for all the messages of support, i cannot explain how much it helps with the days of feeling a bit down or the tough days of climbing hills.

Big love,

Russ

The next big test

So the kit is laid out, the bike is set out, energy gels ready, drinks in fridge. Its just dinner to cook, load up on the cards head down then time to do the next 100  mile bike ride, this time around Bath. It’s going to be a toughee mainly because I played rugby today and what a game it was!

A scratch Dowtys side travelled to Widden to play a very good Widden side and my god the boys put on a performance, of hard work and graft, and god we played some good rugby! We lost 38 – 54 but we have no shame in that defeat. I’m feeling good considering what a hard game it was, afew bruises etc but nothing major. Hopefully I will still feel good in the morning!

I felt like i needed to play today, as its an attempt to replicate the repititition of the LEJOG. I have to get on my bike 12 days straight, so feeling tender a day after playing rugby is good prep for that. It’ll take a lot of digging deep and mental strength to keep going when the legs are sore and i struggle to go on.

I’m not focusing on my time i just went to get round and feel good and enjoy it whilst doing so, its important with the LEJOG exactly a month away from tomorrow. It’ll take a lot of effort but i’m going to give it my all…

Just why am I doing this again?

There are time now when the training has been kicking my arse  and i’m not going to lie i have wondered if it iss worth it and if I can keep going. Its tough sometimes to roll out of bed, have a quick brew, devour some breakfast then get out on the bike to prepare for it. I love getting out on my bike, but in the past you have a choice, if you don’t feel like it you can stay in bed,watch tv or play on the play station. I know deep down I have to carry on and that I will get through it, but that doesn’t make it suck any less at times.

So it was with some embrassment that I watched John Bishop’s Sport relief hell. Now I could take from it the fact that at times, the bloke was in bits, chucking his guts up and huilicinating, not knowing if he had the strength to carry on. Or I could admire the guts and determination he showed to get up everyday, when he didn’t want to and just to keep going, somehow finding the ability to laugh at times and to smile. What he did is far worse than I have to endure, I won’t be on my own like he was for large parts. Like me, he found the training tough, but he kept in mind why he was doing it and focused on that to ensure he got through it.

That what I need to remember, that i’m doing this for Winston’s wish, that I want kids to have the support I had when I lost dad. No one should have to endure losing a parent alone, and if I can raise a bit of cash to help that happen than i’ll be chuffed to bit. I can put up with having to get on my bike and train when I’m tired and don’t want to if it all helps in the long run.

So tomorrow i’ll be getting up at 6 and peddling around when I’d prefer a few hours more in bed, cause I need to train, I need to focus, I need to do this. Then after that I’ll be off to Dorset with my lovely girlfriend and can relax!

The next few months are going to be amazing and if the pay off is I have to tough it out to get to enjoy all of that then so be it. I just wish my dad was here to see it through with me.

Update 18/03/12

Phew finally found 5 minutes to blog! Its been a manic week but a good one! As the Lejog start date creeps up i’m finding less and less time to, I don’t know have any kind of life! With work being mental as well, 24 hour match organisation and actually getting on with getting fit, i’m afraid the blog has got a bit neglected.

So i’m sorry about that and will try to do more to keep people updated with whats going on. But on the whole everything is going well, the to do lists are getting smaller and things are starting to take shape. I’ve still got some major stuff to sort but I am doing my best to crack on and get everything in place. The clock is ticking and i’m working like mad to get it all done but things are shaping up well.

So with all that said lets get down to updating you all!

Bike:

This week:  30.28 Miles

Total for 2012: 221.77 Miles

So I finally got out on my bike Saturday morning and a fun ride it was too! I went out on a ride that took in a lot of hills and i’m definately feeling in good shape, i’m not as knackered doing the ride as i have been in the past. This therefore motivates me to put more effort in and I wish I could find more time to get out on the bike. But this just makes me all the more eager to go out and enjoy the Lejog when it comes up. Next weekend i’m off to Dorset but thats not before I get out on the bike to do the same route saturday morning. It’s my last chance for a training run before the Bath 100 the following sunday.

I also now, thanks to a new phone, have a map my ride app, which is good at tracking my distances accurately, as well as the calories burned, so hopefully this will help develop my cycling.

Rugby:

So our last game was against the league leaders Cheltenham Saracens. Now I went into the game thinking it would be a good chance to lay down a marker but i didn’t think we’d lay it down as well as we did! We ran out 41 – 0 on a gorgeous day, with some great rugby played and it was a great day to have run out.

This week we have  a game against Widden but I will be missing it, as I’m off to sunny Dorset with Em, to catch up with the not-quite-In-laws. This has been beneficial in letting my wrist heal up a bit and focus on getting some prep work in for the bike ride.  Wednesday I will be back at shedweb training though and hopefully stepping up the intensity of it. Last week we did not have a good turn out but hopefully this week we should have a good showing, and begin trying to look like a proper side. With only 5 Training sessions left before the game, time is against us but I am confident we will be able to put on a good showing.

Fitness:

So the main event of the last week has been getting back to the gym. And thus far i’m enjoying it. Except the bike riding, god its dull in the gym! I need to do it as in the evenings its the only way I can chalk up some bike miles whilst it gets dark early. It just takes all the magic out of it, as you  stare at a wall and peddle. I can’t wait until the evenings stay light for longer so I can get out on the bike more.

That said, I’ve been to the gym for a week now, focusing on exercise designed to develop my core strength and tone up for the bike ride, and think i’m going to see the benefit from it. It should improve my recovery times and allow me to go harder for longer (oh er!)It also allows me to practice my SPM and try and maintain a pace between 70 and 90.

The other aim of the gym, is to lose another stone before the bike ride and so far i’ve been 4 times and lot 3 pounds, so hopefully i’ll tone up and not just drop weight. All my efforts in the next few weeks is focused on getting in as good a shape as possible for the bike ride.

Fundraising:

Shedweb:

£935

31% of target.

http://www.justgiving.com/shedweb24hoursofrugby

Bike ride:

£2.031 .50 58% of target.

http://www.justgiving.com/Russell-Brookes

So the fundraising continues to go well, and the to do list is going down.

The main thing over the next few weeks is to get as many volunteers as possible in place and then really start publicising the event. Hopefully we’ll be in really good shape by the end of next week.

Other:

  • Now in other news, and disturbingly i’ve started growing ear hair. Its not pleasant. Its made me think all the fitness stuff is pointless and I should embrace the pipe and slippers. I’m 30 I can’t have ear hair yet.
  • I hope my mum had a nice mothers day. I sent her some flowers and card. I wouldn’t say my mum is the best, as all kids think that. However mum did a great job in difficult circumstance with me and stu. Fathers day however is a day that truly sucks for me.
  • In all of this, i’ve been very busy and neglecting poor Em, who has been great and just grin and bares it (i think she enjoys me not being around secretly!) It makes me appreciate the time we do have together more.
  • Congratulations to Wales on their six nations win. I had fun spending the day in the pub with some good mates, bantering and enjoying the rugby.
  • Started watching game of thrones. Its amazing.
  • I hope Muamba makes a full recover, really puts sport into perspective.
  • This morning it was a struggle to get out of bed. Then I reminded myself that a month ago I’d have killed to be going to work and getting up. It suddenly didn’t seem like a hardship.

Right thats it for now, i’ll be back soon with more inane ramblings! TTFN!

“A champion is someone who gets up, even when he can’t.”

“Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you ther