Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

Offseason, 2017 Plan, and Pucon – an Interview with Myself

Happy New Year Crazy Ass Fans!

I hope you all enjoyed the offseason as much as I and my stomach did. It’s time for an update. And since I know all the many dozens of you have lots of questions but I haven’t been on Jimmy Kimmel lately to answer them, I decided to interview myself like I did to start 2011. Here it goes:

Jesse: Hi Jesse. So good to see you. I can tell by your “fuller” face you’ve really enjoyed the offseason. Tell us about it.

Me: Oh, it was great! Thanks for asking. I took about five weeks completely off with absolutely no exercise allowed by my coach and wif. When I felt really antsy, Lauren would let me go on a walk with Jude. I drank lots of beer and ate lots of things. And as with all my offseasons, I jumped straight into my “other job,” leading some 2016 analysis and 2017 planning with my Picky Bars employees. We had some big wins last year (Canada, Whole Foods PNW, new team members) despite a big loss (Trader Joes). I’m really excited about our team and plan for 2017, which is already off to a great start bringing on Elyse Kopecky of Run Fast Eat Slow for product development, and launching in New Seasons market in the Pacific NW. If you’re interested, you should read my Picky Bars CEO Recap.

#superadvanced visitor in the @pickybars office this afternoon.

A photo posted by Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) on

Jesse: I already read it, it’s great, just maybe a little bit long. Any other thoughts about the offseason?

Me: You know, I actually dig the offseason because for about 2 months I get to be a normal 36 year old working dad. I get up, eat breakfast with my family, go to work, work hard, come home around 5, pick up Jude, play with him, watch a movie or something and then go to bed. I’m game for fun stuff because I’m not tired. It was freaking awesome and gets me actually pretty stoked for time I’m not a full time exerciser in addition to everything else.

#superadvanced family workout.

A video posted by Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) on

Jesse: So have you decided what your plans are for 2017?

Me: Yes, I have. After giving it a BUNCH of thought with wife and coach, I’ve decided I want to head back and take one more crack at Kona.

Jesse: Oh, wow. I did not expect that. Even after all the suffering you talked about in your also very long race report, you decided it was worth it?

Me: Yes, despite the suffering, I feel really satisfied with my performance and finish there, and if I never make it back or never beat that result, I’ll retire happy with what I accomplished. But having now experienced the race, and looking back on it and the weeks leading up to it, I know it wasn’t my best day. I think when it came down to it, I was a little overcooked going into it and under prepared for the heat. My workouts prior to the race weren’t as good as prior to Lanzarote and I just didn’t manage the heat well both physically and mentally – I definitely wasn’t ready for it from a pacing and nutritional/hydration standpoint.

Having finished 16th despite those problems, I believe/hope that if I am less tired and more ready for the heat, I can finish top 10 there. And the possibility of doing that is worth another season of focusing on it for me.

Despite experiencing the pain to make this face, gonna try and go back to Kona again this year.

Jesse: That sounds very reasonable. So what does the rest of your 2017 schedule look like?

Me: Since overall 2016 was a really good, and I was pretty close to accomplishing that Kona goal, I’m going to change as little as possible. As I already announced, I’ll head back to Lanzarote to try to defend my title. I’ll take a bigger break after Lanzarote than I did last year in the hopes I hit my Kona training block and the race itself a little fresher. I’ll also head to Kona this year for a training camp or two to better understand my hydration, nutrition and pacing needs. And since 70.3 Worlds are in Chattanooga and rumored to be on a tough bike course, I may head there if everything is feeling and looking good.

Jesse: I saw on Strava you’re in Pucon, Chile. What the hell are you doing there?

Me: Good eye. Long story short is I’m racing 70.3 Pucon on Sunday (I think results and some coverage will be available here). While this definitely doesn’t follow the plan of “do what I did last year” (or any other year before that), I flew to Pucon in the hopes of getting a few more points for Kona and 70.3 Worlds. It’s also nice to ride my bike outside for a few days, which I haven’t done in 2 months under record snow in Bend.

Yep, that’s a smoking volcano behind me.

Like all January’s, I am NOT in good shape and have done very little semi sporadic training through the holidays. But unlike most January’s, I’m not injured and feel like it isn’t a major risk for me to “race.” I’ll approach the day very conservatively, hopefully I’ll leave without any injuries, pick up a few points, and jump start my early season training by forcing my body to do something it definitely isn’t ready for.

Jesse: That’s great, just be careful out there, you aren’t getting any younger. Anything else you’d like to share with us? How’s the family?

Me: Family is great. Jude is really into Captain Hook right now, so Santa made him the pirate cannon that he asked for, which I heard was a very big project for Santa and very likely the peak of all his Santa-ness. Lauren is on a much needed and deserved sabbatical, which has been awesome for her and the family. Otherwise, all is good, just cracking away on the new year hoping to accomplish some things like always.

Jesse: Well I don’t know about you but this was just great. I really enjoyed it and think you’re a super cool dude.

Me: Thanks man, you’re great too. Thanks for having me.