Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

November Silver Linings: At Least I Grew a Mustache

Heyo all you gloriously mustached crazy ass fans! It’s been a month, so it’s time for an update.

To be honest, I haven’t felt like writing much because I’ve been pretty frustrated, depressed, bloaty, etc., with the athletic side of my Triathlife – cue the sad trombone.

The S[l]ob[ber] Story

Five weeks ago (about 4 1/2 months post surgery) I was finally gaining some momentum, swimming, biking, and even RUNNING semi consistently – up to 4×5 min on, 1 min off. I felt like I was breaking through and getting ready to start my winter training after what had been a super long and drawn out recovery process. I even planned on writing a blog to talk about how excited I was. You guys so would have loved that ridiculously awesome blog.

That's me, running!

That’s me, running!

Then the next day, after months of awesome rides with no problems, I fell on my MTB and landed on my shoulder. It was pretty sore, and honestly scared the crap out of me. Luckily nothing broke and there was no major damage, just a sprain that would take a few weeks to heal. But it was sore enough that I couldn’t swim or run, and could only ride on the trainer. So real winter training got delayed by a few weeks, and I was forced to see the remainder of the summer from inside my trainer pain cave. It sucked, but not too big a deal in the big picture.

Then 7 days later, Jude the Dude slobbered into me some kind of awesome sickness that lingered, ebbed, and flowed for about 2.5 weeks. Finally, after some serious couch time and a round of antibiotics, I started easing back into things. But during the time off, my foot tightened back up and running faded. Between the shoulder, the sickness, and a still sore post tib tendon, it’s safe to say I’d gotten my ass kicked the last 4-5 weeks.

Days before Jude Slober-Poisoned Me

Days before Jude Slobber-Poisoned Me. It’s ok, buddy, I still love you.

My November Silver Linings:

Ever since I was a kid, my dad always made me find the good in whatever crappy situation I found myself in. If I peed my pants, at least I was hydrated and would stay cool for the next few hours, etc. While silver linings seem dumb sometimes, it is an important part of the athletic process, because regardless of who you are or what level you’re at, you’ll inevitably get dealt a crappy hand at some point. How you deal with that is what makes you ultimately succeed. So here are my November silver linings:

  • I learned that I need to be a careful on my MTB. Over the summer, the MTB became an incredible training tool for me – it worked my legs differently, allowed me to see quick big gains in my power numbers, and something that will be of huge benefit to my triathlon preparation. But I have to remember that with it comes risks, and I need to absolutely minimize those risks – be super careful, and no technical trails or conditions. If I feel like I’m technically capable, I’m probably wrong. It was a good lesson to learn now instead of during the season.

  • I learned I need to keep up with my PT exercises. My shoulder mishap reminded me that even when I’m “back” training, or even resting, it’s extremely important that I keep up with my strength and specific PT exercises. My PTs have identified a few key “weak points” in my body I need to be constantly improving, regardless of what phase I’m in.

  • I learned I need to focus on what I can do, not what I can’t do: This is what Matt has ingrained in me this month. Yeah, I couldn’t swim or run for a while, but I could still do lots of strength work, PT, and lots of biking on the trainer (I’ve watched almost the entire Breaking Bad series, another silver lining). It’s not always what you want to do, but it does make a difference (sometimes all the difference) in the end.

The view from my bike the last 4 weeks.

  • I learned I can grow a mustache, kind of. If you guys have been following any of my social media the last few days, you know that we launched the Men of Triathlon Charity Calendar. Though it says on our website you can’t order anymore, you still can, I’m placing the order for calendars on Tuesday. So if you need a gag gift, door mat or kitty litter liner, put some money to charity and buy one – http://menoftriathlon.com

Sorry, but it's for charity. (Thanks Thomas & Velo Photography for the surely painful photo shoot).

Sorry, but it’s for charity. (Thanks Thomas & Velo Photography for the surely painful photo shoot).

Back At It

Luckily, I’m on my way back at it now, and gaining momentum. After some serious work with Jay at Rebound and John at Maximum Mobility, I’m starting to run and swim again in addition to ride on the trainer. You could almost call me a triathlete. I feel a month or so behind, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a big deal. As I said in last month’s Story of Breaking My Neck blog, I’ve been a lot worse off before. I want to be ready to race my best in September, so that’s what I’ll focus on. My one and only goal for December is to get healthy and strong so I can be in full training mode come January. Onward!

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