Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

Updates & Rev3 Quassy Preview

What is up my legions of crazy ass, freaking-out-like-it’s-1985-and-you-just-got-a-Nintendo-for-Christmas fans! Based on new sign-ups to our newsletter, a twitter follower jump and an increase in people perusing the blog, there are new crazies amongst us. I think we are now beyond my mom’s immediate friends, probably some of her friends friends. Let’s welcome them.

I know it’s been a while since I checked in. I’m sorry. I’ve been busy doing Letterman, the View, and a promotional tour. When Justin heard of my world trend-setting alter ego Jesse Beiber, he asked that I come on board to help get the word out about his new album. It’s hard to say no to a kid who sings and dances totally awesome and has the newest coolest hairdo.

In reality, it has been a busy month, and I’ve got some updates or you guys, so in order of oldest to newest, here you be.

Wildflower Recap & Links

I want to thank everyone that commented, sent me an email, text, magic owl, twitter/facebook message, etc. The response to the win and the race report has been absolutely tremendous. I’m humbled by your words of encouragement, congratulations, and empathy. Thank you.

I was lucky enough to be interviewed a few times by some notable triathlon media, and in bits and pieces of them, I don’t sound like a complete idiot. So I wanted to take advantage of that and pass them along to you guys:

  • Competitor Radio: PlayDownload:  We talk about the entire story – running at Stanford, breaking my neck, the win last year, the pressure this year, and more. Bob Babbit is a legend, and he made it easy for me, which is no small task.
  • Lauren’s competitor radio Interview: PlayDownload – An awesome interview. Lauren talks about her own prep for the Olympic Trials in spite of injury. She also talks a bit about this bushy haired dude with tapered leg jeans she met at Stanford.
  • Triathlete.com’s “Transition Like a Pro” video – where you can see how I knock over the competitions helmet to gain an advantage. Swear that wasn’t on purpose.
  • Triathlete.com’s full detailed view of my bike. 

Click the image to see a bunch of pictures of the full setup. Thanks Triathlete Magazine!

Anyway, it was awesome to bask in the glory of a win for a while, but then it was right back on to work and Matt Dixon’s Pain Train. Here are the updates:

Updates

I swear it only took me one try to take a picture of my shadow while riding.

Training

Training has gone decently the last couple of weeks. Matt said we’d take the intensity down a notch after Wildflower, which duped me into thinking we’d take it easy. He’s suspect, that Matt Dixon.

Anyway, it was anything but easy. A lot of long endurance riding with build efforts, hours and hours in the saddle, some good hilly runs and some pretty tough swims. I recently joined Strava, which lets you share your workouts, splits, and virtually race people on an otherwise meaningless section of road, it’s pretty sweet. Check it out if you’re interested in seeing some of the stuff I do.

Probably my favorite ride from the last two weeks, a double lake loop from home. Spectacular. Above is the route, below is a pic from the ride.

Go go gadget picture arm.

 

Picky Bars

Besides training, Picky Bars has been keeping me extra busy the last month. We have some pretty exciting announcements coming soon and the entire team has been cranking on getting everything set. One update that we leaked out is some new packaging design by our master designer/Director of Marketing Loren Polster (also my cousin, but that’s less cool). We haven’t sent off the order yet – but very soon – so if you have any feedback, feel free to let us know what you think. I’m super excited about the next step at Picky Bars, I think we’re putting the pieces into place that will enable us to grow significantly over the next year. It’s an exciting time.

Click the image above to go to our website and tell us what you think about the new packaging. Booyah!

Upcoming Event: Outside in Aspen – June 8-10

I can’t express how stoked I am to represent professional triathlon at the Outside in Aspen event/festival the weekend of June 8-10! I’ll race the sprint triathlon on Saturday morning, which I’m sure is going to feel totally awesome 6 days after Quassy and at one million feet elevation. I’ll also be leading a bike ride the next morning if I don’t drown in the pool. I’m just hoping I don’t embarrass myself so they ask me to come back next year.

Seriously, it’s going to be a blast, and I’m absolutely honored to be invited by Outside Magazine. They did a short interview/profile on me in the lead up to the event. If you’re in that area, you should come down and check it out. In addition to the triathlon and the bike ride, there are a ton of other events/seminars/clinics and of course, parties.

Outside Magazine! Booyah!

Rev3 Quassy Preview – Race Sunday 6:50 am EST.

Ok, now onto the main event. Why I’m writing a blog – because I’m on a plane – because I’m going to a race – and that race is Rev3 Quassy.

The Race:

Rev3 Quassy is half-iron distance race known for a few things: a difficult course, a strong field, a large prize purse, and…roller coasters. I literally don’t think you could find a more intriguing set of characteristics for me. It’s intriguing enough that I sacrificed one of my favorite races of all time, Escape from Alcatraz, to head here and see what the deal is. So here I am. Bring it roller coasters.

From what I hear, the course/environment carry a few qualities that I like. 1) It is very hilly, not like Wildflower hilly, but hilly nonetheless. Apparently the bike is rolling the entire way with a few solid climbs – you’re rarely just cranking on a flat. I think the run is similar. 2) It’s usually pretty cold – could be similar, or even worse, than Oceanside based on the weather report. The cold drizzly conditions remind me of being home training hard in miserable but lovable Eugene. Fun times. Only bummer is the word on the street is a non-wetsuit swim. Can’t have your way all the time.

The field assembled is top notch. James Cunnama is back to defend his title, and after a solid showing at Wildflower on very little training, I’m sure he’s going to be excited and ready to race. Richie Cunningham, who out-toughed me the last mile of Oceanside and is always at the top of the field will be there. Joe Gambles, Paul Matthews, Matt Reed, Clayton Fettel, Tim Deboom, Brian Fleischman to name a few, are all some of the top guys in the world. The race will be tough to say the least.

This image has nothing to do with anything, but I found it on my phone when searching for pictures to include. It shows one of my favorite Pearl Izumi kits, Midnight Tiger. You're welcome.

My Thoughts:

I’ve done some really solid endurance-based training the last few weeks, so I feel strong. But unlike the lead up to Wildflower, I’m less certain about my fitness as I haven’t really tested it with intense workouts the last few weeks. I’ve had pockets of excitement, but nothing I can really rest my confidence on. Like always, I’ll just have to see what shows up on race day and deal with it regardless.

After Wildflower though, I’m super psyched to come to this race with significantly less pressure both externally and internally. I feel like I can really enjoy the event and the process again, enjoy the race for what it is without the burden of defending on my shoulders. I’m looking forward to doing the pro panel (Friday at 2:30 if you’re there), hanging out with the Rev3 crew and a bunch of the Pearl Izumi guys. The weekend is going to be blast.

Having said that, I certainly want to maintain momentum from the performance at Wildflower, so I’d like to do very well. For the first time in my career, there’s a small ember inside me that believes I’m becoming legitimately capable of winning almost any race on the right day. That doesn’t mean I think I’m going to win this race, or the next one. I know that the right day comes and goes. But it is an awesome, and slightly scary feeling. Confidence brings with it the burden of expectation. So the key for me will be to not get derailed when things don’t go as well as I’d like. I can still perform well, even if it isn’t a dream performance. And if it’s a poor performance, it can still be used for learning and experience. So those are my thoughts into Sunday. Now I just need a good song to get stuck in my head.

How to Follow:

I don’t know if I’ll have anyone there to tweet for me, but Rev3 does a great job of providing coverage before, during, and after the event. So check out:

  • Rev3 Live Website – probably some pre-race videos in addition to race updates
  • Rev3 Twitter – definitely race updates and other news
  • My twitter – in case I find someone else or other sources, I’ll tweet it out and let you know.

Just like in Costa Rica, there will be some videos before the race, most likely posted at the Rev3 Live Website. Anyone that’s at the event, please come see me/say hello/ask some questions at the Pro Panel on the Expo Stage at 2:30 on Saturday.

I think that’s it guys. So from here, I sign out until Sunday. Thanks for following, you nutso Jesse freaks.

16 comments to Updates & Rev3 Quassy Preview

  • marian

    go jesse, go! have fun!

  • If I wasn’t going to a wedding this weekend, I’d so be there with a “Boomshakalaka” sign and some aviators.

    Also, on the transition vid, I’d like a tutorial in how you get your shoes on whilst jumping on a bike because it seems you took over without shoes on, leading me to believe your shoes were already clipped into your bike. I fall off a bike doing anything (seriously, once fell over grabbing a water bottle), so I’m wondering how this works….

    And – COLD?!? Cold my ass! It’s been hot and humid (and I doubt CT is much different here) so I hope for your it does cool down a bit.

    Go get ‘em. Good luck!

  • David

    Have a great race!

  • Jordan Rapp

    The Rev3 course will suit you. As you said, it’s a lot like Wildflower, only with the hills more evenly dispersed, both on the bike and run. The “big hill” also comes early – I think about 27mi or so – but it’s a lot like Nasty Grade, meaning it looks more influential on the outcome of the race than it actually is. In the past, it seems like folks have stayed pretty well together going up it. There’s a short out and back near the end, and from about 40mi (the turnaround at the end of the out-n-back) back to T2 it’s slightly uphill, so that’s where I’d expect the “real action” to happen.

    Run course is just as hard as Wildflower and probably even more similar than the bike course – though it’s not 500m short like Wildflower is (don’t worry, it’s short every year) – but there is not nearly as much trail. There’s some dirt road, if I recall, but none of the REALLY steep uphills/downhills like Wildflower. But more long uphills and long downhills, all at a more slight grade.

    Not to put any additional pressure on you, but I’m certainly expecting that you’ll win. Mostly because I’m not there. Otherwise, I would clearly win.

    The roller coasters are epic. I grew up in that area, so those were the first coasters I’ve been on. They are incredibly scary. Not because they are fast. But because there’s a lot of “holy crap I think this thing might fall apart while I’m riding it” because it’s a rickety old wooden coaster in a park that seems like it might barely be making enough money for maintenance. You should definitely go ride.

    PS: Did I mention that I’m expecting you to W-I-N?

    PPS: Never trust ANY coach. I think “easy” just means, “easy… for me to write down.”

    PPPS: I hope the new Picky wrappers generate less trash than the old ones. I.e., compostable/biodegradable would be a big upgrade over plastic baggies. My $0.02.

    PPPPS: I am also glad you are a Pro IRONMAN Athlete. Name the date, and we’ll go twice around the Wildflower course. Just for kicks.

    • Jesse Thomas

      Thanks for the head’s up on the course man. Oh yeah, and the added pressure. Haha.

      Yes, I think Outside Magazine may have overstated my accomplishments. But, I very much like your idea of double Wildflower as a first crack at an Ironman. Late 2013?

      Thanks again dude!

  • malb

    Jordan you are such a great TEAM MATE!

  • Elizabeth

    I had no idea Quassy had a race! Dang. Now my mom is going to want me to come home and visit… I grew up in CT, which is such a small state that everything is next door. Quassy is known for its old-fashioned coasters if you are into the wooden coaster thing.

    I think Eugene has tougher, steeper hills. When I go back East, I feel like CT is just flat flat flat. Our hills are STEEP and pitchy. In CT, I feel like everything is just rolling. You’ll be able to build up a huge head of steam and let momentum do its job. Really, think like a roller coaster.

    Good luck!

  • zachinacubicle

    Good Luck on the Right Coast. I will be stalking on the Rev3 site that morning. They have the best way to catch it online.

  • Neil

    As always, great stuff, JT. We’ll have an eye on the updates – go get ‘em!

    P.S. – that Pearl kit is awesomesauce. I might need to look into it.

  • Randy Becker

    Oustanding stuff, thanks for the entertainment. GOOD LUCK this weekend!

  • Good luck this weekend Jesse, and I LOVE the new Picky Bar packaging. Very talented cousin you’ve got there.

  • Have a great race. Ride some coasters. Love the Pain Train……did I say have a great race? Well, have a great race.

  • And now I looked at those bike pics and see you use rolf prima WHEELS but specialized TIRES?!? Wheels are different than tires?! Can you do a triathlon for idiots post?

  • Bob Ryskamp

    Nice interviews man. Especially enjoyed the radio one with the story about your neck…I still remember you not showing up for a ride with me, then emailing a week later saying “I’m sorry I missed the ride, but I have a REALLY good excuse…” And then that crazy hi-rise bike you rode with your brace on…makes for an interesting story at least!

  • Rebecca

    Loren Polster from Laguna Beach is your cousin???

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