Suit Up

So  I had a lovely weekend in Dorset with Em and her family, just relaxing and unwinding.But before I went it would have been rude not to have enjoyed a nice training ride at 7 in the morning! It was a good 30 mile spin and I am glad I got out and enjoyed the lovely weather rather than lazed in bed, it was a great kick start to the weekend. It was my last real chance for the Bath 100 next sunday. I even took a few pics:

Coming into the Shire

What a rubbish view...

Now whilst I enjoy the above views the one below is the one I generally see:

So that was may weekend. Now the best thing about today is its payday! After 5 months I finally have a wage cheque and its going to good use getting equipment for the bike ride. So today I’ve brought the following:

  • Some sunglasses with clipable lenses.
  • Some new cleats as the others are worn out!
  • A pac a mac
  • A camel bac backpack whichI got at a bargain price as it was last seasons colour!

And most importantly this epic cycling jersey as I need to look the part after all:

I think it suits me as i’m always struggling to keep up and struggle to take myself seriously.

So the ride next sunday looks like it will be a toughy, here is the info from the action site:

Slightly modified from the 2011 route to miss out the muddy ‘Roubaix’ section and the crossing of the busy A46. We also climb the White Horse at Westbury this year to make up for the removal of some climbing near the end of the route. Still a very tough ride, just a little cleaner and safer :o) Passing Prior Park, Orchardleigh, King Alfred’s Tower, Stourhead, Longleat, Shear Water, Westbury White Horse, Caen Hill Locks, Spye Park, Lacock Abbey, The Circus and the Royal Crescent. Refreshment stops @ 26, 62 and 90 miles.

Ride Stats…
Actual Distance: 100-miles
Metres Climbed: 1812m
Max Gradient: 14.69%
Average Gradient: 1.29%
Difficulty: 8/10

So i picked a nice easy one for first ride of the season! Still it will be a good tester for the Lejog.

In other news I have been busy sorting out volunteers etc for the 24 Hour match.

Oh I’m not allowed to say why as i’m sworn to secrecy but please all cross your fingers and send positive thoughts to the lovely Em tomorrow please. tah muchly.

Right thats it from me for now, so i’ll be back later in the meantime if you wish  to sponsor me or the rugby boys you can at the links below:

http://www.justgiving.com/shedweb24hoursofrugby

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

TTFN!

Russ

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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

Update 01/03/12

Wow its blog time again! That’s come around fast! Lately it feels like I don’t have enough hours in the day and with February creeping by and March commencing in the next few days, everything is fast approaching! We have less than 8 weeks till the Cherrypickers game, 63 days till the LEJOG and 82 days to the 24 Hour rugby match!

Exactly how hard all of this is going to be and how much I have to do is starting to hit me now. I’m working hard to fit everything in and make sure it all gets done and we are starting to get progress on a number of things now. I’m looking forward to the bike ride, if only because I don’t have to stress. I can just worry about getting from point a to point b and not worry about all the behind the scenes stuff that is in need of getting done!

Anyway here’s what’s been going down…

Bike Ride:

So Saturday I went out and did a bike ride from Bristol – Gloucester and back again. It was a lush day and a thoroughly enjoyable ride.  I did 63.04 Miles in about 5 hours and 30 minutes, not including a rest stop at mums! I really enjoyed the challenge of it all and it was good to just get back out on the bike and eat up the miles. I was pretty tired by the end of it, but after a few months of not doing a long distance that was to be expected!

It was a nice long ride, in glorious sun, with a good mix of hills and flat roads, hopefully a good replica of the LEJOG ride and I now cannot wait to get out on the road. This weekend I am hoping I can get out and do a 30 mile or so bike ride.  I do miss getting out on the bike as much, but truth be told i’d rather be working than not!

I’ve also signed up for the Bath 100 on the 1st April now, I really hope that date is not a bad omen! Hopefully chuck in a couple more cycles to Glos and back and I should be in good stead for the LEJOG ride.

Rugby:

Training has been going well of late. Dowty’s training was fun on tuesday and we hopefully have a big game against Tewekesbury 4ths this weekend. They beat us with the last play of the game last time, in a game when we were the better side but we just lacked composure.  We appear to have a good side to field so hopefully it should be a good game.

Shedweb training went really well last night I thought, we had a good number turn up and were able to put on some good run throughs. As this was only our second training session I was really surprised and pleased by the turn out and hope we can keep the numbers up.

Fitness:

Bit annoyed with myself as i put on 3 pounds this week. Which is frustrating given the distance I did on the bike ride. Two training sessions and a bike ride should help, but I now need to be losing weight not putting it back on! So its a case now of doubling my efforts and stepping up the training and healthy eating. This weekend i’m hoping to pop down to the gym and get signed up and get cracking there. Then if i can get down a couple of times a week that will supplement the bike and rugby training i hope. Throw some swimming into that equation and it should really help develop my fitness.

Fundraising:

http://www.justgiving.com/shedweb24hoursofrugby current total: £875

http://www.justgiving.com/russell-brookes   Current total: £1866.50

Total so far: £2741.50

So the big news of this week are the designs for the 24 hour match shirts have gone in, now i’m biased as i designed them but i think they look pretty good:

The last one is the refs shirt. They look good eh? All we need now are some nice sponsors on the front. So if you can help out then please get in touch. We have a couple of interests in sponsors but nothing definate so if you know a company that would be interested in sponsoring us, please drop me a line at: cyclingfordad@wordpress.com.

The rest of the fundraising i’m making great strides on, we have a committee meeting next week so hopefully after that I can reveal more information, so watch this space!

A good friend of mine Julie Darwin is doing some half marathons and kindly donating the money to my fundraising appeal. I’ve mentioned Julie on here before and she is an amazing Lady who makes me feel very lazy!

Misc:

So tonight I’m actually getting to spend some time with Em which is a nice bonus, we’re only going out to cribbs and grabbing some food there but it’ll be nice to have some quality time together. With how busy i’ve been the last few weeks we’ve not had much time together so i am looking forward to it.

Right thats it for now, i’ll be back soon with more, till then have a good one all,

Russ

Update

Work: Its great to be back working! The first day flew by and I have so much to learn and take on, but it looks an exciting opportunity. I was knackered after the first day but it was worth it and beat sitting around at home with nothing to do! I feel in some ways like I have no idea what is going on, but hopefully at somepoint the penny will drop and I’ll be flying! In the meantime its just good to be back at work and hitting the ground. The week has flown by and think its going to be a challenging job with no real place to hide, but if you work hard it seems there will be a lot of opportunity to progress. So thats what i’ll have to do!

Rugby:

So didn’t make training on tuesday as I settle in at work, this week has left me knackered. I won’t be playing on saturday as something else lined up, more on that below.

However, we are starting Shedweb training on thursday which I cannot wait to get going on. We don’t have long now to the game and have a lot of work to do if we are to make ourselfs a competitive side against the Cherrypickers. Hopefully i’ve picked up a few coaching tips I can bring to the table from Dowtys training which will help! It’ll be good to catch up with everyone and a nice unwind after a busy week.

Cycling:

So cycling in the week is now out the question which puts more pressure on me to get out on the bike a lot at the weekends. So as above I won’t be able to train this week which is annoying but getting out and relaxing is just as important. (so i keep justifying to myself) I am looking into joining a gym as soon as possible and hopefully will get down for a swim sometime this week. I’m being careful with what I eat at work, so as not to undo the good work from the last few months.

On saturday I am planning to cycle from Bristol to Gloucester and back again. This will be a distance of about 65 miles and the longest ride i’ve done in a long time. So it’ll be good prep before the 100 Miler in April and hopefully i can fit another few more goes at this ride before I leave in may.  I’m really looking forward to getting out on the road, the only thing I miss about not working is having the time to get out on my bike, but as it gets lighter it will get better.

Fundraising:

LEJOG:

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

Current total: £1,846.50 % of target: 52%

Rugby:

http://www.justgiving.com/shedweb24hoursofrugby

Current total: £850 % of target: 28%

So the fundraising has progress a bit, but I need to find more time to really crack getting some sponsorship etc tied down. Hopefully I can sit down on sunday and send off a load of e-mails etc and get the ball rolling there.

Misc:

I’ve started reading a book about someone else who has done the Lejog and its proving really useful. Giving me some useful tips on the ride itself as well as insight into what I have to look forward to. It makes me all the more eager to get on the bike and get going on with the ride. Most of all it reminds me to make sure I enjoy it! It’ll be over all to soon and I need to make sure I take in all that I am seeing.

Em is off back to Dorset to see her parents this weekend, whilst I’d love to go, i’ll be staying in Brizzle as it gives me a chance to crack on with fundraising and cycling training.

As much as I like the new office so far, I am working with a lot of Welsh folk; so I really hope England win else the office will be unbearable come Monday! Gloucester are also playing Harlequins in a big game, so i’m being greedy and hoping for wins for Dowty, Gloucester and Harlequins.

Right that’s it i’m writing this just before heading off to training so I better get a shift on! Have a good weekend all, I’ll be back next week with an update on how my Bristol – Gloucester – Bristol bike ride went.

Quotes:

Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” – General George Patton

Getting up the hill…

So there goes another week and what a busy one its been! Its not quite been as much progress as I’d have liked but still its progress and next week presents me with some exciting opportunities.

I kinda feel that at the moment if i was out on my bike, I’m currently going up a big hill, and the top is a little off in the distance. Its raining a bit and windy. I’m up in the saddle and driving hard on the peddles, sucking in  any breath of air I can get. However I am making progress, I glance up and the peak of the hill is coming into sight, a bit more effort and i’ll be at the top and once I hit the top, I can sit in the saddle, adjust my gears, collect my breath and enjoy the thrill of a downhill descent.  So yes its been tough and a bloody hard slog in recent months with my career but i’ve learnt a lot from it. This week didn’t bring the opportunities as soon as i would have liked, but I’m just needing to be more patient. To continue the bike ride metaphor its always toughest before your reach the peak of a hill. Next week presents a number of opportunities and who knows what they may led to. I’ll give it my all and see where they’ll take me.

Away from that however things continue to go well. They say money isn’t everything and to some extent they are right, but if i can get enough in to pay the bills then i’ll be delighted! Em continues to be amazing support, helping me out in anyway she can. I’m never allowed to feel sorry for myself to long.

The fundraising is coming along brilliantly. The shedweb lions events continue to take shape and we have raised a quite staggering £765 in just over a month! I’m stunned by this and who knows how much we can raise in the coming months. I’m really excited by the future of these events and cannot wait for things to slot further into place.

This weekend Em is off home to her parents, and i’m off back to the shire for the weekend.  Saturday is another big game for Dowtys a we play All Blues. We had a hell of a game against them earlier in the season with them taking victory from us with the last play of the game . I am really fired up for the match and cannot wait to play. We are missing a few players for various reasons but we still have a strong side. I have my third run out at hooker, I still have a lot to learn about the position but will give it my all. Hopefully while we are playing Glos can build on the performance from last week and reignite their season too.

After this we will be out for a few drinks (Lemonade in my case! the training doesn’t let up and budget won’t allow for anymore.!) Sunday will be spent at my parents relaxing a bit and preparing for a potentially big week in getting a job. I’m not through the door yet, but can definately see one to knock on..

I want to also say a big thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog. I’ve had 402 visits this month alone and and 2,4025 in total. I never though when I started this it would generate that level of interest so thanks for reading!

Have a good weekend whatever you are doing.

Russ

xx

24 Hour Game – A Change of date

So, yesterday I went to Hartpury with a friend for an update meeting on the 24 hour of rugby. It was  a very productive meeting and things are moving along nicely.

The biggest decision was to move the date of the game. There were a number of reasons behind this but the biggest one was to give us more time to secure as much sponsorship as possible and to make the event as big as possible. I am confident that by moving the date of the game we will make it a big success. Its scary how much the event is developing.

So the event will now start on Saturday 19th May 2012 at 10am – Sunday 20th May till we drop! So this means one week after I have done the Land’s End to John O’Groats bike ride i’ll be playing 24 hours of constant rugby! Yes I am mad, but also determined to make this all a succes.

Thus far we have raised £645 for this and the match against the Cherrypickers which is brilliant! We are aiming to raise at least £5,000 for Winstons Wish and are working on securing as much sponsorship as possible.

We will be commencing training very shortly for the Cherrypickers game, just waiting on confirmation of a suitable venue.

I’ll have more information soon, but for now I just wanted people to be aware of the main points from the meeting.

Update 21/01/12

Ouch. I ache. A lot. As I write this I am sat in my pjs after I had a hot bath, with a cup of tea, writing this blog…n a Saturday! How rock and roll am I?! Gone are the days when I can go on the lash after a game.

Anyway I have a fair bit of updating to do so lets get to it.

Cycling:

Total: 82.98 Miles

So I’m still disappointed with my milage for January and really want to up this! I need to get a better total each week to hit my target. My excuse this week was the cold weather, but if i’m honest with myself thats a pretty piss poor excuse! When i’m out on the bike for the ride, regardless of the weather i’ll need to be peddling away, whether its cold or pissing down so i’ll get out on the bike more from tomorrow promise!

Rugby:

Well the winning run had to come to an end sometime! We lost 19-0 to Cainscross, but the score doesn’t reflect the game. Everyone tackled like Demons today, i’ve not been part of such a great defensive effort from a team. The pride and passion were awesome. I’ve not had so much fun playing rugby for years, its such a great bunch of lads and we have such a laugh and I really feel lucky to be a part of it, so it makes it more annoying that I feel I let them down a bit with my performance today. My tackling is just not good enough and I need to step it up! I will be working hard to do this. I am my own worst critic with rugby, I always feel I never do enough, so need to work hard at getting my game to a place I am happy with. I’d love to work on my pace a bit too and increase my support play in the game. On the plus side I’ve really enjoyed the last two games playing hooker and hope I get a chance to play there more often.I’m looking forward to training tuesday already.

Fitness:

So other than feeling like i’ve been hit by a bus today, the fitness is ticking along nicely and i’m starting to head to the time when it really is upped and focused. I am determined to get to may in the best shape of my life so I can put it all in on the bike ride.

Fundraising:

bike ride: £1846.50 http://www.justgiving.com/Russell-Brookes

Shedweb: £440 http://www.justgiving.com/shedweb24hoursofrugby

So the fundraising is ticking along nicely.

I’ll have a big update next week on all the fundraising hopefully, as we may move the 24 hour match back, because its getting massive and we want to make it the best event possible! But its all getting much  bigger than I ever could dream of and I cannot believe the support we are getting!

Home/Jobs

I’m not going to bore you with jobs anymore as i feel its not what the blog is about and its my issue and has no bearing on the fundraising. I have some promising opportunities and hopefully they may lead to something but lets leave it at that!

Right i’m off to lie down and recover ready for a kick ass week so i’ll leave you with some quotes:

Success isn’t something that just happens – success is learned, success is practiced and then it is shared. -Sparky Anderson

It’s what you get from games you lose that is extremely important. -Pat Riley

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. -Steve Prefontaine