Saturday, September 12, 2009

Parlee's Inaugural Ride

Today was the Parlee's first ride. It was as awesome as I expected, SRAM Red shifting was smooth and perfect. I definitely got pushed around by the wind though, just need to get used to the carbon rims and the feel of the bike. When I sprinted, it was sooo fast. One word to sum it up...SNAPPY.

So, here are the results: Set a new PR on Old Mill 40 seconds!!! Since my previous PR was 5:10, and today I did it in 4:30, this was a 12.9% improvement!! And to be honest, I'm not in as good of shape as I was with my previous PR. So, in my case, this is definitely "about the bike!"

Parlee's aura spread to Ryan, as he also set a PR on OMW by 25 seconds!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Parlee Z4 Bike

Livin’ the Dream...Parlee Z4

When my bro suggested I sign up for and begin logging my rides in’s Tour de France challenge, I figured, sure why not? We were already logging our miles in a friendly TDF Challenge between my bro, my training partner Ryan, and myself and I thought the chances of winning a prize were pretty good. I even remarked to Ryan that since they gave away so many prizes, the odds of winning something were probably pretty good. Especially compared to the lotto or large sweepstakes like HGTV’s Dream Home, etc.

So, I began logging my rides, day after day. I commuted quite a bit during this time, so I was able to get in a lot of rides. I also made it a point to take my cycling fanatic 2 yr old on short bike rides around the neighborhood. This challenge pushed this months mileage (so far) over 700 miles and helped me get in better shape. Everyday I would check to see if we won anything on the Prize List. As the stages continued on I kept thinking, these odds still have to be pretty good. I kept believing that one of us would win something. Even if it was just a set of gloves or a helmet.

Last night I checked my cell phone and noticed my bro called 3 times. He isn’t the type to call a bunch of times, unless it is really, really, important. I quickly give him a concerned call, (incidentally he was finishing up one of his rides and waiting for AAA because he locked his keys in his car, but that’s not why called) here is our conversation...

Brother Bryan: Hey, who told you about the TDF Challenge?

JC: Uh, I don’t know, you?

Bryan: Dude, have you checked your email?! Have you?!

JC: Nah, I don’t check my home email that often. Why, what's up?


I open my email...

JC: What the? Are you serious!! Holy Cow! What the?!!!!

I begin reading my email from

JC: ...From Mapmyride and ROAD ID... Subject: You've won a prize Body of email: TDF Challenge...Congratulations....You have won a brand new Parlee Z4 bicycle! Please login.... Oh my, what! YAHOOOO! Ha! This is amazing!

My daughter begins yelling.....

Lily: Daddy, Daddy you so excited? Daddy’s excited!!! Ha ha. Momma, daddy’s excited!! Dady’s excited! Daddy won a new bike! Ha ha!

And so, indeed I have won a Parlee Z4 Fly V Australia Team Edition bike. I’m still in shock. This won’t sink in for a long time. I was going to hold off on telling everyone and just show up for a group ride on this amazing machine, but I couldn’t hold back. I had to spread the word of my unbelievably good fortune. Here is a picture for you to enjoy.

See you on the road soon....JC

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tour de France Projections after 4 Stages

GC Contenders:

2. Lance Armstrong 10:38:07
3. Alberto Contador :19
4. Andreas Kloden :23
5. Levi Leipheimer :31

Now, I know it’s a long race. It’s a grand tour, but seriously, is this not total domination thus far? 4 out of the top 5. For anybody who even thinks this abundance of talent is a “problem” or may cause “issues” for Astana should seriously rethink that view. Johan Bruyneel has so many options (and tricks up his sleeve) the other Director Sportif’s must be having nightmares about when or how Astana will shred their GC contenders to pieces. I can see Bjarne now, that blank, shocked, helpless look on his face.
Further, what is Cadel Evens (aka Cuddles, seriously that is his nickname) or Carlos Sastre (aka Sastrisk) going to do when they find themselves trying to cover acceleration after acceleration from Astana's henchmen, while Lance, Levi, and Contador put it in cruise control and play a game of travel othello while their competition will work like dogs to stay in the pack?

Projection: Reserve two spots on the podium for the Astana men. And don’t be too quick to give the other spot to another rider. Could it be an Astana sweep? Not if Garmin-Slipstream has a say….

12. Christian Vande Velde 1:16
This is difficult to assess. He has a decent team. He proved he can hang with the GC contenders last year and just barely missed a podium spot. See previous post. However, he crashed hard earlier this year, his fitness is questionable (argueably), and why was his team trying to sign Contador just before the race? And what about the rumors that Millar wanted to bail from the team? Do they know he won’t contend this year….or is it all a ruse?
Projection: Unable to forecast, we’ll find out in the first really tough mountain stage, Stage 7 on Friday. If he is still contending through Stage 10, he will have a legit shot at top 5, podium might be pushing it. So, will he be there or will he dropped like an anchor? Could it be an all American podium?

20. Andy Schleck 1:41 & 25. Frank Schleck 2:17
These bros are no joke. Andy was best young rider and finished 12th in his first Tour. Frank finished 6th last year. And that was when they were working hard for Sastre. What can they accomplish as the leaders? One thing is for sure, if they want to get on the podium, they are going to have to improve their Time Trialing, Andy finished 1:00 and Frank 1:36 behind Cancellara in Stage 1, whearas Contador was only :18 back, Kloden :22, Leipheimer :30, and Lance :40…and that was only 15.5km…what are they going to lose on Stage 18 which is 40km…and are they tired helping to pointlessly defend Cancellara’s Yellow jersey?
Projection: 6th and 12th last year was good, but Lance, Levi, Kloden, and Contador were watching the Tour on TV….which means Frank will just barely slide into the top 10 and Andy will be happy with a top 20.

29. Carlos Sastre 2:44
While he rode well in the 2008 Tour, as noted in my previous post, he is a pretender. Anytime we refer to the 2008 Tour we have to remember that Contador and Leipheimer were excluded, clearly they both can handle Sastre.
Projection: Forget it, he’ll be lucky to get a stage win.

35. Cadel Evans 2:59 (aka Cuddles)
He is the modern day equivalent of Joop Zoetemelk who won in 1980 and
finished 2nd in 1970, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1979…except for one thing, this is not Cadel’s 1980, he can not win with a less than adequate team. Period.
Projection: Lucky to see the podium this year.

40. Oscar Pereiro 3:03
Eventually was declared 2006 TDF Champion after Landis’ appeal to USADA was found to prove he was guilty of doping.
Projection: Sorry he’s just not at the top level. I’m not sure why I even included him?

72. Denis Menchov 3:52
3:52 back is not a good way to start the tour. In all likelihood, he’ll be heading into the mountains on Friday with the same margin. Now, tell me how Menchov plans on making up 3:52 on Contador….don’t bother thinking about it, it won’t happen.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Race Report: Cleveland Half Marathon

I arrived at the start line just in time and realized I was right at the front. Gun went off and I started runing too fast. I did my first mile in 6:40, second mile was about 6:45. I knew I needed to pull back a bit, but it just felt good to be out there running hard. This was my first race since the Portage Lakes Duathlon last September, so I was happy to get back in the groove. At first, I was happy to be at the front for the start, but then I began to realize that it messed with my psych. A whole bunch of much faster half and full marathoners started behind me, so I felt like everyone was just blowing past me, while I wasn't passing too many.

So here are the stats: I finished with a chip time of 1:35:53 a 7:18 pace, which was good enough for 183rd place of 3,873 overall, and 23 of 303 in my age division of 30-34 dudes, 1:18:59 won my age division. Not sure why, but my watch time was 1:36:52 a 7:23 pace. I'll take the official time though!!

Other notes...The Iggy band was pumping me up and a few random drum players were really cool. I wish there was more of that out there. The crowds were good, but the chilled morning probably kept a few inside. Lily and Amanda made it out for me and that was awesome to hear them cheering in the final stretch.

All in all, I'm satisfied with my first half.

Post update: New video posted on YouTube. I zip by in seconds 45 and 46, blue shirt, blue headband.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Watch the Giro Live...For Free

Watch the Giro d'Italia live on Universal Sports May 9-31. Go to this link.

Any predictions on a winner? Will it be Levi, Sastre, Vande Velde, or someone else?

I'd put my money on Astana, it will be the Lance/Levi show for the next three weeks.

Clearly, Lily is cheering for Vande Velde!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

April Training Recap

100.6 miles running
97.74 miles cycling

A whole bunch of core and weights.

Running...Hurt the achilles on a long training run to Euclid Creek Reservation and back. I think I strained it on the long hill out of the reservation. Since that time I've had to take 8 or 9 various rest days. My detailed training plan was trashed. I've thrown my goal of doing the Cleveland Half under 1:30 out the window. Instead, I hope to run a good race, pain free. It will be touch and go.

Cycling...My bike is a P.O.S., trust me I know. The look on the mechanic's face was priceless. He really tried to be nice about not dogging it too much. Anyway, a new chain, chain rings, cassette, cables, and tires will get me going. So I'm excited to get the bike back on Thursday and see how much smoother it is. Next purchase will be shoes. As soon as the Cleveland Half is over I will be out there much more consistently and will be ready for some hill repeats!

In other news...As I said before, I signed up for the Blue Ridge Brutal 100 (see last post. I'll have room for 1 or 2 more, let me know if you are interested.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blue Ridge Brutal

So I'm meeting my bro in Ashe County, NC on August 15 to take on the Blue Ridge Brutal 100. Check out the elevation chart here.

It's going to be a long summer of hill repeats to get prepared for this!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cleveland, meet Barry.

Get Outside!

Here's why. For the last few months I have mainly been trudging along on treadmill in the basement of my office, with only my co-workers and CNN news to keep me company. Now don't get me wrong, I like to talk to my coworkers and (occasionally) I watch the news, but not while I'm working out. Seriously, 50% of why I'm working out is to give the brain a break from the office and reality in general. And I can only take so much doom and gloom from CNN news about how my 401k sucks, if I'm not already laid off - it's coming, I should suspect everyone who looks middle-eastern to be a terrorist, taxes are too high, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yes, we only have one channel on the TV, we can't change it. Ugh! Or, I've spent my rides on the trainer on the basement at home, nuf said.

More importantly, today was a great reason to get outside. As I ran through the downtown malls, across the bridge, passed The Browns Stadium, The Great Lakes Science Center, The Rock Hall, The USS Cod, The Goodtime II, and Burke Lakefront Arpt, I was soaking it in. But for the WEATHER, Cleveland is awesome, we should enjoy it. But those are just objects that pale in comparison to this guy: Barry Noss. You see, as I was running back from my turnaround at Burke Lakefront, I was passed by an obvious touring cyclist. Obvious because all the gear he was carrying and it looked like he hadn't shaved in days. He stopped to take a picture, I ran past. He passed me again near the Rock Hall. He stopped to check his map, I stopped to find out his deal.

Barry is heading to Chicago...from Philly! He is raising money for the American Brain Tumor Association. He recently got laid off and decided to bike to Chicago, which I think is awesome and bold. Awesome because riding 850 miles is just plain cool and adventurous. Bold, because it's only April and it is cold and windy along Lake Erie! Check out Barry's site.

A good ride with some hills...

Unlike a typical ride so far this spring, I had plenty of time on my hands to put some decent miles in the bank yesterday. I headed out to a beautiful sunny day with a little chilly Northerly wind. Out Shaker Blvd and Gates Mills. I dropped in on Old Mill, crossed the bridge and headed North on Chagrin River Road (CRR). Turned left on to Wilson Mills, then a quick right into the N. Chagrin Metroparks Trail. I cruised up, I mean I slugged up that hill, wrapped around N. Chagrin then dropped back in to CRR and headed South. I was absolutely flying through this part with a nice push from the wind. Then I decided to go up Brigham Road for the first time ever. This was painfull and by the way, not very safe. There is hardly any shoulder, coupled with the steepness of the climb and the turns, this trip up was a little nerve-racking. A few close calls. I turned left on Battles and looped back around to County Line, then dropped back into CRR the same way I came up. Flying down at near 50mph doesn't give you much time to realize how much of a dumb idea it was to ride up it. I was just hanging on and tapping the brakes to keep it under control.

After nearly getting smeared by a geezer in a dueley who blew right through the 3 way stop (Yes, I called him a F$@k-Job-A$$h0le right in front of a cop car, who did nothing about either of us), I headed South on CRR all the to Woodland. I paused on the bridge to relax and regroup. Then Falls to Chagrin Falls. Stopped at Starbucks to refuel on a giant double shot and some gels. I also called my training partner to tell him about all the painfull fun he was missing out on:)

Then I ran into an old college friend. After talking for a few minutes I realized I was running out of time to get home and relieve the babysitter. So I looked at the Wall of N. Chagrin, then towards Miles, then the Wall again....and decided to get on with it through Miles. I took Miles to CRR, then shot up Jackson like a snail in mud. I mean I was moving faster than pond water. I was cranking the granny gear just waiting for my momentum to slow the point where I would just fall over. I kept a little lean to the right so that maybe I wouldn't be run over by Geez and his dueley if I just fell into ditch or that big tree. It wouldn't have been too bad, I could have used the break.

After finishing the climb up Jackson I scurried home only 5 minutes late. Exhausted and trashed. My left achiles felt like it could explode at anytime post ride. I guess I'll find out the extent of that issue when I run at lunch today.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Runnin' Man...

So, I have been completely neglecting the bike. Mostly because I'm focusing on training for the Cleveland Half-Marathon...or maybe the marathon. I don't know, I haven't made my mind up yet. I also have been totally fascinated learning about ultramarathons and especially Dean Karnazes. I read both Ultramarathon Man and 50/50 Dean's books. They are inspiring and eye opening. In 50/50 he runs 50 marathons, in 50 days, in all 50 states, in the fall 2006. It's crazy how far he can go. For eight straight years he ran a 199 mile, 12 person relay race, on his own.

On that note, I feel like I could run forever, but I haven't run far enough yet to test my limits. I did put in a good week last week, total 33.8 miles running. I'm gradually increasing my mileage by about 10%/week, we'll see where I top out. I did a practice 5k on Saturday (20:48) and a 13 miler on Sunday. Sunday's long run included high winds, rain, sleet, and a little snow. I really got blasted rounding Shaker Lakes near Coventry, that was not fun, but I would not head home. I just kept thinking there's a dude out there who can run 50 consecutive marathons - I can do this. Did it in 2 hrs flat. Wasn't fun, but it was...ya know what I mean?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Training Update...

I'm getting back into it this year. My goals include dropping about 20 lbs. quickly and then running a respectable Cleveland 1/2 Marathon on May 17th.

Last week:
Monday: Run 3.75 miles, 32:30, Gym: Pushups, Situps, PullDowns
Tuesday: Run 3.00 miles, 24:00, Gym: Pushups, Situps, PullDowns
Wednesday: Run 5.50 miles, 44:50, Gym: Pushups, Situps, PullDowns
Thursday: Bike(Lunch-Recumbent) 13.51 miles, 45:00, Bike(Evening - Trainer) 22.84, 1:15:00, Gym: Pushups, Situps, PullDowns
Friday: Gym
Saturday: Run 4.11 miles, 35:26, Bike 26.23, 1:36:09
Sunday: Run 8.22 miles, 1:13:12 Notes: First 4.11 in 36:26. This was my longest run in about 15 yrs., I felt great. Felt like I could have done it twice...It's all coming together:)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

First day out this year...

It was cloudy and cold at the start, then the flurries came. I was dying on Berkshire, where 1. I kept looking down to see if I flatted (nope), 2. I kept checking my rear brakes to make sure they weren't rubbing (nope). I'm just fat and slow...I know you hear this every year. I did however, pop my chain, which bought me some excuse time. Lots of work to do...

19.67 miles
cold, cold, cold....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Plea for help....


A tragic accident took the life of this caring mother of four. While no amount of money could replace a mother, the family will need financial help. To help...Contributions may be made to the Memorial Fund for the Ashley Kids, c/o First Merit Bank, 56 Liberty St., Painesville, OH 44077, or deposits can be made at any First Merit location.