Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

purplepatch Tri Camp – By the Numbers

We could have at least picked a better place to stay....

Wow, just had an amazing time in Tuscon with the purplepatch fitness crew and some fantastic athletes.  It was, by far, the most intensive triathlon experience of my life.  I tried to quantify all the data from the camp, but my eyes started crossing.  So I stopped at the result below:  My purplepatch Tri Camp as told by some of the more ridiculous, obscure, and sometimes funny numbers.

The Training

9 – Days spent at the Starr Pass Marriot.  As you can see by this picture, it was a rough.

36000 – Yards swam….or something like that. It’s tough to know exactly how many yards your swimming when a significant amount of the time is circling open water buoys in a pool, while swimming guru Gerry Rodrigues is telling you it’s ok to “get physical” with the other campers.


Lane lines are overrated.

21.3 – Hours on the bike. This is HUGE (at least for me). I haven’t spent more than 8 hours on a bike in a week this year, but I do it all on the trainer baby!  Proof to me that if you love the trainer, it loves you back.

Sami The Bull and his Guacamole.

500 – Watts averaged by Sami “The Bull” Inkinen (my roommate) on our final 3min 20sec hill rep up Mt. A. Think that’s impressive? He also ate that entire bowl of guac in one sitting AND maintained that flawless hairdo during 9 days and 36 hours of training. There is NOTHING this man can’t do!

10 – Miles climbed by Rob Lyle, a physician from Arkansas, up Mt. Lemmon. I rode with Rob his first day of camp (and since we’re buds I can be honest) there’s no way I thought he’d be able to ride 10 miles up Lemmon just 3 days later. But he put in a SOLID effort and gained a lot of confidence on the bike over 3 days. Impressive performance to say the least.

51.5 – Miles ran. To be honest, we didn’t run all that much, but when we did, we made it count….

5000 – Degrees fahrenheit – approximate temperature during the last 20 minutes of my long run on Wednesday. Shameful act of the week – when I jogged behind a big dirt mound on the last mile so no one could see me walk up the hill.

59.1 – Minutes it took Jimmy and I to do a 10 mile progression run, our last workout of the camp. Jimmy, who is phys ed teacher in LV and has no running background, not only hung with me, but pushed the pace the first 6 miles and threw down some low 5 minute splits towards the end. I feel bad for anyone within 15 minutes of this guy in a 70.3 when he starts running!

The Eating

Objects in camera may be larger than they appear.

1 – Amazing cookie eaten at the top of Mt. Lemmon.  Considering it was a gift to myself after one of the harder rides of my life, I’m going to go ahead and say it was the best cookie I’ve ever had.

28 – Hours that my stomach was WRECKED after that cookie.  Damn you gluten & dairy, damn you!

11400 – Calories of Peanut Butter & Jelly consumed by yours truly – 2.5 jars PB, 4 jars Jelly – no exaggeration. You might think, “Oh. My. God. That’s over 1200 calories of PBJ a day,” and that’s kind of right, but I didn’t buy any until the second day of camp, so technically the average was more like ~1400.  And yes, I still ate PLENTY of Picky Bars every day (yep, that was a plug).

68 – Pieces of sushi eaten by Matt Lieto at dinner one night. For $20, you could order whatever you want on the menu (and we all did) BUT you pay full price for whatever you don’t eat. Matt’s first words after finishing his final roll…“That was not enjoyable.”

He's happy now, but check back with him in about an hour.

Extra Credit

96 – Times Matt pulled in front of me on a ride or run when a photographer was taking pictures.

Matt smells a photographer up ahead.

4 to 6 – Butts grabbed by me (inadvertently) while “getting physical” during open water swimming practice.  I’m sorry, whoever you are.

If Jared looks into the camera, it explodes.

0 – Bones broken by Jared Allen in his “bif” into an oncoming car. “Rubber Man” took hands down the most incredible spill I’ve ever witnessed on a bike and somehow managed to come away with only stitches, road rash, and bruises. The incident also supplied the quote of the week – Jared described after it happened, when he first opened his eyes, “I saw this really bright light, and a man, who I thought was Jesus. But then I realized it was Matt Lieto.”

At least 2 – Number of something the moon has. If you don’t know what I mean, believe me when I say it’s better that way.

3 – Times yours truly won the coveted “Outfit of the Day” award. One for the aviators, two for the Goblin kit, and three for my half tights only track outfit. The first two ensembles are pictured below, the half tights will exist only as a harrowing image forever burned into the memories of the other campers.

Repeat outfit of the day winner, the Green Goblin (and aviators).

Over 30 – New friends. **Warning: Sappy ending ahead. If you’re a tough guy, tread lightly. I had a great time with some great people last week.  Hand’s down, the best part of this camp (besides the free butt-grabs), were the relationships I developed.  Thanks everyone for the great training and even better laughs.

That’s it folks!  If you can swing it, I highly recommend attending a purplepatch camp. Thanks a TON to Matt Dixon and his crew (Anthony, Donald) and the other coaches, Gerry, and Ryan Stockton. Learned a lot, did some great training and had an awesome time.

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