Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

Bring on 2014

Happy New Year, all you screaming, crying, simply unable to control your overwhelming enthusiasm, Crazy Ass Fans! I trust everyone enjoyed a riotous and belly busting holiday break and is slowly making their way back to pool, road, trail, or at least your computer to read this blog.

2013 RECAP

Instead of fixing my websites inability to search for and find blogs in any structured way at all, I’ll start 2013 with a recap. Here’s what went down.

The Aviators hide the pain. I'm making sobby face right now.

This image is still used as fuel for tough sessions.

2013 Wildflower Triathlon

Wish I would have kept the hospital gown. Looks money, literally.

Wish I would have kept the hospital gown. Looks money, literally.


  • At 5 Weeks Post Op, I thought, this injury is basically over! I started getting active again, doing core work, riding on the trainer in my boot and using the Vasa machine.
  • At 9 Weeks Post Op, I was out of the boot, but my progress had been stalled by a bad case of post tib tendonitis. I was in a bad mood.
  • At 12 Weeks Post Op, I learned the importance of rehab, started swimming and riding outside for the first time, still wasn’t running, but had some cautious optimism.
Look at all the pretty colors!

Look at all the pretty colors!

  • At 18 Weeks Post Op, I was back swimming and biking like I was before surgery but still wasn’t running. I started preparing my hair for the greatest accomplishment of the year.
  • I went to Kona, did my first “run” at the Underwear Run and Sebastian Kienle told me he liked my Pearl Izumi Donkey Commercial.

Click the image to see the full article in Imaging Economics.

Click the image to see the full article in Imaging Economics.

My primary accomplishment for the second half of 2013.

My primary accomplishment for the second half of 2013. Sorry.

That was a hard year, thanks for keeping me going.

Outside of having Jude, which was without a doubt the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me, 2013 was tough year. Or I should say, it was an emotional roller coaster. After my performance at Oceanside, some incredible training, and threepeating on a tough day at Wildflower, I legitimately believed, for the first time in my career, that I could win the 70.3 World Championships. Then, my foot broke.

To feel so close to achieving a major goal and have it all taken away was pretty devastating. And the thought that it might not come back has haunted me since my decision to get surgery. As diligent as I was in evaluating and making the decisions I’ve made, there are no guarantees in life, and it’s that risk that scares me.

The thing that made it all tolerable, that held my belief up during those times was the support from what I collectively consider, “my team.”

  • My wife Lauren, my little buddy Jude, and the rest of my family.
  • My coach Matt and his wife Kelli.
  • Geoff, Don, Kody, Mike, and Kelly at Pearl Izumi.
  • David, Ben, Adam, Mallory, Aaron, Mark and Chris at Specialized.
  • Rob, Kurt, and Tbone at ROKA Sports.
  • Brian, Roger, Brooke, Marianne and the team at Allied Media, Sony Medical & Carestream.
  • Patrick, Jocelyn, Anna, Betsy, Mike, and Justin at Picky Bars
  • Jason, Melissa and the team at Jaybird.
  • Brian, Brooke, and all the dudes at Rolf Prima.
  • Steve and Tim at Powertap.
  • The legions of CRAZY. ASS. FANS.

Honestly, as I went through surgery and all the ups and downs after, each and every one of these guys supported me with complete and unwavering confidence. I can’t tell you enough how much that meant to me. They believe, even in the face of my biggest doubts, that I will return to bigger and better things. I could not have gone through 2013 without you. Please feel free to go to their websites, buy a whole bunch of stuff, and tell them that they’re all the coolest people ever.

On to 2014.

As I wrote in November, my goal for December was to get healthy and back to regular training. I’m happy to say that I achieved that goal. That doesn’t mean I’m completely free of aches and pains in my shoulder and foot, but my body does seem to be handling a gradual progression of training load. Last week, (despite my bike being stolen) at a training camp in SF with Matt, I had what I’d call my first real week of training, 21 hours including 25k of swimming, 10 hours of riding, 25 miles of running, and 2 hours of strength.

My newest Triathlete Magazine Article about how I’ll approach my comeback.

But I’m not completely out of the clear yet. There’s a lot of work to be done and I’m still going through ups and downs. Triathlete Magazine just posted the article I wrote on how I’ll approach my “comeback.” Bottom line is I can’t control what’s going to happen, and it’s going to take a long time to return to where I was. I’m going to feel behind where I’ve been in the past, but I can’t force it. And I can’t only be excited about being in top form. I have to get excited about retracing each step I’ve taken before. Then I can look forward to where I’m headed.

Sunday morning swim/run. @pearlizumiofficial #pickylife #gametime #go9ers

4 comments to Bring on 2014

  • Ben-jammin

    Hey Jesse – I really enjoy reading your take on this injury and comeback. It’s really refreshing to see your honesty about the frustrations of setbacks. Thanks for all the inspirations and funny quips man. I hope that 2014 is good to your foot, and the wif, and Jude. Also, I hope you’re not a Seahawks fan. Who Dat Nation all the way baby.

  • Ryan


    You’re doing an amazing job! You’ll do great this year. Your ability to transend your struggles and keep going is inspiring. I’m going to be coming back to these blogs if I ever get injured.

  • Hey Jessie-Enjoyed your blog on comming back. I too have been dealing with one injury afer another for the past year and a half. I’m much older than you, but still want to race. After reading your stories on how you approach your recovery I can totally relate. You have inspired me to “stay the course”. Good luck this year, congrats on the birth of your son, and just love Picky Bars.

  • Roo

    Hey Jesse, really enjoy reading your entries and articles in Tri-mag as well. Would love to hear which races you plan on doing in 2014, assuming your training and rehab is still on track! Best of luck! Keep up the great work!

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