Update 02/05/18

Money Raised so far: £300

Where can you sponsor me?

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/russell-brookes4

Goals set:

Cycle: 2000 Miles to include 2 100 mile rides

Complete Ride London amd one other 100 miler

So far: 297.77 Miles

Mileage needed each week to hit target: 48 Miles

Rides planned: Cotswold Bike Ride, Ride London and one other 100 miler

Run: 750 Miles to include 2 half marathons.

So Far: 176.66 Miles including one half marathon.

Mileage needed each week to hit target: 16.4

Runs Planned: Mud Run

Walking: 500 miles

So far: 82.31

Mileage need each week to hit target: 12 miles

So looking at the above, I guess the one thing I can say is at least the numbers mileage wise are going up. Sadly just not as fast as I would like and therefore the average distance needed is on an upward spike too.

I think my targets may prove to be a bit ambitious, but that’s the point of a challenge I guess! It would be easy to push the goals down I guess but then whats the point in doing that. So its keep calm and carry on. Focus on the positives and do my best to make the targets. The main target for me, is to keep having fun, get fit and raise as much money as possible for the charity. And currently I’m doing all of that, so no complaints from me in that regard!

So whats been going on. Well I have a new job. And that’s obviously leading to some adjustments in planning things and taken up free time. Running will need to be reduced on lunches, so i think that goal is now going to be the hardest to hit. Hence bringing in walking as a goal to encourage me to get out on lunches when I can still. But i’ve been after a promotion at work for a while so I’m pleased about this.

We had an amazing holiday in Nice. It was a much needed break and I’m glad we got to have some much needed downtime. We even did a spot of cycling! And walking. so much walking.

This month I have my first long distance sportive in the Cotswold BHF bike ride.  This ride always has a lot of good memories for me as its the first sportive/charity ride i ever did, when I did the 30 miler. This year I am doing the 50 mile route, which I did for the first time last year. And the first hill is brutal. I’m not sure how well ill do this year, but its my first long ride of the year so will see how it goes.

I had a lucky escape the other day when I got knocked off my bike. Thankfully I just am covered in grazes and the bike amazingly was unscathed. Still wasn’t pleasant.

I’m also feeling setting myself a set time of 7 hours in Ride London is silly. What if i feel sore on the day, or its hot. I don’t want to put pressure on myself unduly so its an amended goal of just riding as fast as i can on the day and just enjoying the experience. I’d focusing on thing like training and diet to give myself the best chance possible of doing well, but honestly I’m not going to force it too much.

So I’m still cracking on, hoping to really have a good month with it all this month, but remembering to cut myself a break if i don’t. I’ll get there it just might take longer than I’d like.

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Update 05.04.18

Money Raised so far: £280

Where can you sponsor me?

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/russell-brookes4

Goals set:

Cycle: 2000 Miles to include 2 100 mile rides

Complete Ride London in under 7 Hours

So far: 211.83 Miles

Mileage needed each week to hit target: 44 Miles

Rides planned: Cotswold Bike Ride, Ride London and one other 100 miler

Run: 750 Miles to include 2 half marathons.

So Far: 168.34 Miles including one half marathon.

Mileage needed each week to hit target: 14.5415

Runs Planned: Mud Run

So I feel like I am making some headway in my dumb challenge at least. Probably not as much as I need to be still, its better to be moving forward right.

On reflection I’ve knocked my target for cycling down to 200 Miles. My previous best according to Strava is 1800 Miles so I think 2500 would just be too unrealistic. I want my goals to be a challenge but not impossible. The weekly average is just a bit more realistic. I’m still behind on where I need to be on the cycling, so got some clawing back to do, but hoping the better weather and lighter evenings can help there.

Running I’m more or less where I need to be to hit 750 miles, but fear this will suffer at the expense or cycling. There is only so much exercise I can do and whilst I’m enjoying it. I have to work, spend time with my lovely wife and not break myself!

But then I guess if it was easy it wouldn’t be a challenge right? So I I want to hit them if I can, all I can do is try!

In good news though I am starting a new job in May and super excited for that and that presents opportunities and challenges that it will present. Its been a long time coming and obviously that will impact on my time I can put into training, but I will keep trying.

In great news, I’ve hit my original fundraising target of £200 so no going back now I’m in on the Ride London and having to get myself fit and in a position where I can push to try and cycle the route in under 7 hours. We’ll see if I can do it! At this moment I’m not sure, but all I can do is try right? ( I say this to convince myself as much as anyone else!)

I have just over a week till my holiday in Nice, where I won’t be training but will have to ensure I don’t undone all my previous efforts. I can’t wait to go and if I’m honest my brain is there already.

So in short I am making progess, which is always a good thing. I now need to make slightly more progress.

 

 

 

 

No mud run till September

So given the appalling weather conditions it is not a shock to find out that the mudrun has been postponed. I’ve now been rescheduled to undertake the run in September. So whilst disappointing, this frees up my focus to now being on cycling.

Given the weather conditions training is proving a bit tricky! I was hoping to get out on the bike a bit more, but well the weather is making that a challenge. So currently I’m a tiny bit behind on the pacing I need to be for running with 107 Miles done, leaving 642 Miles to go. This leaves me an average of 14 miles a week to do.

Cycling I’m way behind on. I’ve done 97.68 Miles leaving me 2402 miles or 55 Miles a week. Given the weather this is going to be tough.

All I can do I think is just keep chipping away at the targets so I don’t fall to far behind in the targets. In between I’m doing some basic exercises on my app on the phone to try and tone up my core. This should help with my ability to peddle faster, or so I keep training myself.

So in short, its a bit of a challenge and set back so far, but i’m still chipping away at stuff and am determined to hit my target. I genuinely feel my fitness is getting better and it is all going to help i’m sure. If it raises money for Winston’s Wish then all the better.

Update 18.02.18 (In short I still have lots to do)

Money Raised so far: £155

Where can you sponsor me?

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/russell-brookes4

Goals set:

Cycle: 2500 Miles to include 2 100 mile rides

So far: 68.3 Miles

Mileage needed each week to hit target: 52 Miles

Rides planned: Cotswold Bike Ride, Jurassic Beast, Ride London

Run: 750 Miles to include 2 half marathons.

So Far: 87.3 Miles including one half marathon.

Mileage needed each week to hit target: 14.4

Runs Planned: Mud Run

So if the above tells me anything, its two things:

  1. I’ve a lot to do still to hit my targets and;
  2. I’m an idiot for setting these targets in the first place!

But I’m committed to doing it and do you know what I’m actually enjoying the training.

I’m behind where I’d like to be with the cycling, but I finally got out on a couple of rides this week and it was great to get back out on the bike. Doing Portway and Whiteshill in a 25 miler training run was probably one of my poorer life choices though! This was followed by a 44 miler yesterday. So this has reassured me that my legs still have distance in them. But I need to start upping it and if i’m serious about clocking a time under 6.30 hours on a Century ride this year, I need to start working on my pace.

So i’ve signed up to the BHF Cotswold Bikeride in May and intending to do the Wiggle Jurassic Beast that month too. If I can find a couple of others, that should put me in good shape for the the Ride London. On that note, I’ve booked the accomodation and me and my lovely wife are planning a few days after to celebrate (hopefully!) I’m starting to look forwatd to it and this week has been a reminder of just how much I love being on my bike.

Running:

I’ve still been getting out running, just not as long distance wise and just ticking over. I’ve been getting out on lunchtime at work and this is a good way to sneak in the miles and also let of steam and escape the desk! I’m amazed how much I’m enjoying an activity I used to hate.

The mud run is two weeks today and i’m really looking forward to it, whilst wishing I had a few more people doing it with me. But you never know some of you may feel moved to join me, after reading this.

I still need to do at least one more half and still believe I can knock a few minutes off my PB of 1.51.50 but I bet everyone thinks that!

Other:

In addition to this I’ve done a long walk with Em which is always nice. We are also looking into getting back to swimming, which might lead me into another dumb event idea, but that’s another story…

Rugby is kinda taking a back burner to my other stuff, but i’ve had a couple of games and still enjoy playing touch.

In short I’m currently trying to capitalise on my fitness bug I seem to have, but am a bit behind where I’d like to be. Its about getting the balance right I guess and I’ll get there. As the day stays lighter for longer that’ll make it easy.

The Fundraising:

So far i’ve raised £155 which Is a great start and thanks to anyone who has sponsored me so far, but i still want more so please sponsor me on the link above. Even a £1 can make a massive difference.

Thanks for reading and i’ll be back to bore you to tears again soon!

The first half is always the hardest.

I’m going to confess something. I used to hate running. I remember giving the sport relief mile a go, many years ago and it was horiffic. I barely got round the 3 miles, I had shin splints and I figured never again. Finally, I got on a bike and never looked book. I just thought running was one of those things, that I’d never get. Turns out I was wrong.

So with less than a months real training under my belt, and with 11 miles being the furthest I have ever ran in one stint, I had for reasons best know to my brain, decided that a Half Marathon would be a good thing to undertake. At first I figured I could just “give it a go” and not worry about a time, but that’s not how my brain works. After a few training runs, I’d spoken to a few friends, who were more experienced runners than me, and had a multitude of differing thoughts on what a good time would be and how to pace it. So outwardly I had been saying to people that:

“you know what if I can do it in 2 hours and 20 minutes I’d be bloody chuffed.”

Secretly though I wanted to test myself and resolved that I was going to aim for 2 hours. This would mean running at a pace of 9.09 minutes a mile, faster than I was used to. So nothing like really testing your self.

So nothing would set it up, like a bit of a rough nights sleep. I’ve never been good at the pre-event part of preparation. Mentally I’m riding my bike or running before I’ve even got to the event. And this was new. And new stuff isn’t always easy for me. I get a bit anxious and build it up to be more taxing in my head than it really is. Luckily because of this I get organised and had everything laid out.

So I turned up in good time, grabbed my bag and started walking up to the registration. And this was where the gremlins first started. They like to niggle, “you won’t be fast,” “look at their kit they know what they’re doing, you don’t” Over time I’ve grown used to this and have found ways to zone out and deal with it. It is not something that phases me just an irritant.

So after registering I was on the start line ready to go. Now I had a tonne of strategies I was going to try on this run, but the one I read I like the sound of was to run the first 10 miles sensibly, then go for it on the last bit as if a 5km so that was my idea. My Garmin Fitness watch, brought by my long suffering wife was invaluable in helping me keep a pace. So as the run commenced my objective was simple. Keep it under 9.10 minute miles and just give it my best.

Below is how my brain would operate as I went.

Mile 1: 8.21

This is a good pace, look at your watch, crap this is too fast ease it up, no I feel good, why not keep this up? Because you still have a bloody age to go.

Mile 2: 8.34

Christ we hit that fast, ok lets get settled in now, we’ve had the adrenaline, lets focus on the task at hand and not do anything rash. We have to get round, thats the most important thing here.

Mile 3: 8.53

That was still fast, lets settled down now.

Mile 4:  8.44

Christ still under 9.00, come on Russ, pace it.

Mile 5: 8.28

That was faster, you berk! You know what this pace is ok, right lets settle and just see how it goes. I wonder If I should maybe do a Marathon. Christ I’m overtaking people.

Mile 6: 8.31

Ok if I can hit mile 7 in an hour thats over half way and I have a pretty good chance of getting round.

Mile 7: 8.23

Christ I could do this, you know what 1.45 is doab… no focus lets get a good time

Mile 8 8.41

Ok I’m feeling it now. But the time is still good. Maybe I did go to fast. No don’t over think this, keep it steady. Nearly at mile 10, then we go for it.

Mile 9 8.39

Thats good pace is consistent. This hill is tough, ugh I might not do this. my left knee aches. Shut up its a tiny bit you’ve been through worse. Remember why you are here, to raise money, its not meant to be easy, earn this. Trust your training, trust your plan, you are doing well.

Mile 10 8.24

Ok, my hammys ache a bit now, but its not bad, you’ve cycled over 100 miles you can do this. Whats a bit of pain. Think how good it will feel when you do this.

Now is the time lets up the pace and give it all we have.

Mile 11 8.04

Shit that was to quick and i’m hurting, maybe i’ve miscalculated. This is uncharted territory, i’ve never run this far before. Come on its 2 and a bit miles, its nothing, keep the faith!

Mile 12 8.12

1 and a bit to go, we’ve going to get in under your goal, but thats no excuse to let up, push it, push it lets make it as good a pb so its a challenge the next time. Wait we are going to do another? of course we are!

Mile 13 8.15

This hurts, this hurts, but i’m going to do it, don’t stop, no let up, lets bring it home. you’ve got stronger, you’ve judged this properly.

The home stretch: 1.35

You’ve done it now keep pushing and enjoy it!

That’s the story of how I pushed it through and not only did something I was sure I’d never achieve, but utterly loved. I am very fortunate that on my first half I achieved a goal, which i hope was a challenge for me. Now I want to do at least one more and see how I can do.

But now my focus is on the mud runner. I am lining up the Cheltenham half though possibly, I definitely think I have a faster time in me and isn’t that what all runners say?

And I still have a 100 mile bike ride on the Horizon…

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/russell-brookes4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setting Targets

Gloucester Half Marathon: Sunday 14th January

Mudrunner:  Sunday 4th March

Ride London: 29th July

So the above is what is facing me this year so far. I’m sure I’ll set myself some more stuff to get my teeth into as the year goes. I’m pretty excited about it all. Its taken me a while to realise I’m very much a goal driven person. So the more stuff I set myself the harder I work. My training ethic has improved since the half marathon has been on the horizon and so I feel more ready for that. I still have a lot more to do with the bike and need to get out on there more as the Ride London is the biggy for me.

So this week is gearing up to my first ever Half Marathon, which I’m both nervous and excited about. It’s going to be a distance I’ve never covered before. That said I hit 11 miles on Friday so I’m confident I can hit the 13.2 miles needed to finish the race. I’m aiming to pace my self at 10 minutes a mile to start out and see how I go, but would like to come in under 2 Hours 15 Minutes.

Mudrunner is a bit harder to set a time. I just want to get round and enjoy that.

Ridelondon is a different kettle of fish. I’ve done a few 100 milers now. But never got a fast time. I’d love to hit about 6 Hours 30 minutes but to do that I will really have to push myself and don’t have a lot of time to train. But I want a goal thats going to stretch me, so thats what i’m going to look to do.

I’m hoping that if I enjoy the half I might yet sign up for some more runs. And I definately see a few more cycle events in the future.

So looking at last year distances the goals I want to do our:

Cycle: 2500 Miles to include 2 100 mile rides

Run: 750 Miles to include 2 half marathons.

So thats now out there on the tinterweb so hopefully that will be the thing that pushed me to actually go out and do it.

But the thing that will really push me to do it is to have people sponsor me:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/russell-brookes4

 

 

Getting off my bike… but only for a spot of running

So another year has been and gone. It had its ups and downs as the flow of time always seems to have, but on the whole I’m excited to see what the new year will bring me. A lot of running by the looks of it!

So in addition to the Mud runner I’m doing, I will also be doing the Gloucester Half Marathon on the 14th January! This will be the furthest I’ve run ever! Last month I racked up 86 Kilometres including a 10 mile run. I’ve really surprised myself with how much i’ve enjoyed it.

A particular highlight was running with a good mate up Robinswood hill in the snow, as you can see this took its toll:

 

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We then had a run on New Years day. Its been fun doing something different and getting into something I never thought I’d enjoy.

I’m trying to get myself in the best shape for each of the events and the different challenges they present and bring me. I’m aiming to just get round on the runs to set myself a time to aim for in future events. The bike ride I want to set a good time but not sure what yet.

The fundraising has been good so far. I’ve already raised £70 of the £250 target I’ve got to hit for the Ride London. I’d obviously love to go beyond that amount as much as possible!

So over the next few months I’ll try to update more but thus far, the training is going well, and i’m excited to see how much I can raise so please keep donating and i’ll keep signing up to do stuff!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/russell-brookes4