Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

Points, World’s, and NYC Tri, Oh My!

Heyo all you traveling around the country racing like a chicken with your head cut off Crazy Ass Fans!

Sorry for the long delay in updates, but life has been truly Crazy Ass the last couple months. For the few of you who don’t stalk every single one of my social media posts and sit outside my house listening to my phone conversations with my mom, here’s a quick recap of what’s been going down.

A Race for Points

After a second surgery, a surprising Wildflower 4-Peat, a shoulder injury, and a wrong turn, I was forced to to race 4 half Ironman’s in 5 weeks to give me the best chance at qualifying for 70.3 Worlds.

  1. Eagleman 70.3 – missed turn, rode extra 11 miles, crowned myself the Eagleman 81.3 Champion, received basically zero points.
  2. Mont Tremblant 70.3 – A big win on the World’s course in a new course record. Awesome day.
  3. Buffalo Springs 70.3 – 7 days later, I hang on for 3rd place in crazy heat and literally smoke myself.
  4. Vineman 70.3 – I have a great swim, and then the wheels fall off big time on the bike and run. Clearly, I’m a little banged up, and very tired. So tired, I don’t write a race report for it. I manage to finish 6th place and get some much needed points.

It Worked, I Qualified for World’s

I’m happy to say that I received my 70.3 Worlds slot from Ironman this week! So, in short, while it wasn’t the best, or easiest, or least costly way to do it, it worked. More about that later.

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 8.58.06 PM

I’m in!

I Also Raced NYC Triathlon

As part of my partnership with Accenture, I raced an Olympic distance race in NY this weekend. I’ll save you the long report and say this:

  • I had a good swim – a HEAVILY current-assisted 11:29 “1500m,” coming out with the 2nd group.
  • A cautious bike with the group – my tired flatted at 15 miles and I rode it in.
  • A hard effort on the run, but just didn’t have the speed (or energy, honestly) to compete with the short course guys.
  • Overall – I finished 5th – a decent effort given how tired I was, but hardly a miraculous day. I’ll take it.
  • Bottom line – I had a blast with Accenture and the Challenged Athletes Foundation – who raise money to support physically challenged athletes and enable them to compete around the world – got to hang out with a bunch of great people and even hand out awards to some amazing athletes. Definitely worth the trip. Also, huge thanks to Walton family for the generous hospitality!

The Points Chase Had It’s Cost

I’ll be honest, I’m feeling a little banged up from all the racing. My right foot (surgery) has held up surprisingly well, but I have a sciatic nerve problem on the bike which causes my left foot to go numb after time in the aero position – if anyone has experienced this and knows some good remedies, please feel free to share. I’ve got the guys at Rebound & Maximum Mobility helping me and I’m confident we can knock it out, but any info/experience always helps as well.

I’m also obviously pretty tired. That was A LOT of travel and racing. That’s not my thing. I naturally approach each of my races with excitement, emotion, and mental focus. With that much racing in a row, I just couldn’t hold on to it. I got tired physically and mentally. Racing felt, for the first time, like a job. And it had an obvious effect on my last few races. I’m definitely not in the health or energy state I wanted to be going into my final prep for World’s.

All I Can Do is Do What I Can Do

But, no season turns out exactly the way you want it to. Mine obviously got derailed a bunch of times and I was forced to scramble to try to make it work, to try to achieve my goal. So now I’m a little banged up, and a little less confident than I’d like to be. Well, I can’t control those things that happened. All I can do is do what I can do. I’ve got 5 weeks. That’s it. No travel, no racing, no outside commitments. I’m going to be head down at home in Bend training, resting, and physical theraping my ass off. My confidence isn’t where I want it to be, but I still believe I can have a great race at Mont Tremblant on September 7th. I’ll do everything I can in my control to give me the best shot possible. And if I do that, I’ll have to be happy regardless of the outcome.

Thanks, A Lot

It’s been an awesome journey on this “comeback” season. Thank you all so much for following along and the support you’ve given me. I really appreciate, it honestly makes all the difference. And of course a huge thank you to my sponsors who’ve made the pursuit of this goal possible – Pearl Izumi, Specialized, ROKA, Red Bull, Picky Bars, Accenture, Rolf Prima, Power Tap, Jaybird, Strava and Rebound Physical Therapy.

I probably won’t check in on the blog for a while – I’ve got work to do! So if you want to follow my prep be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Strava. Thanks again, I leave you with the greatest video of all time!


18 comments to Points, World’s, and NYC Tri, Oh My!

  • Kathy

    What an awesome video 🙂 Thanks for sharing your perspective on the ups and downs of the season so far – you are right, things don’t always go as planned and we sometimes have to take a different path that is less desirable – but it’s great that you have made it to worlds, and have the five weeks to get rejuvenated and ready. Hopefully it will be enough to let you mentally recharge and feel health and energized going in – all of us crazy fans are stoked to see what you can do back in Tri Disneyland!!!

  • Ryan

    LIES. ALL LIES. I don’t believe for one second that you don’t have confidence Mr. Thomas! If I was a betting man, I’d say you’ve had some conversation with Mr. Dixon over the last month or two that contained something about using this hard racing block to slings-shot your body into hyper-building mode and allow you to have a breakthrough race once you’re fully tapered for Worlds. Not only will you be confident in your fitness once you see how much all that racing has done for you, you’ll have raced so much that worlds will feel like just another race. Which is exactly how you should view it!

    Can someone say, “Breakthrough year?”

  • marian

    hey you forgot to mention cottage grove tri! i saw you with my own eyes.
    have you tried acupuncture to help with the sciatic issue?

  • You are so ready for Worlds. Get some rest, regroup, and renew your love for the sport.

  • Congrats Jesse!!! Loved seeing you 4-peat at Wildflower.

    That video of Jude is just too adorable.

  • MattK

    Congrats on qualifying and inventing the new word “theraping.” Enjoy the home time. Uncontrollable baby laughs are the best. Ask your team if an orthotic shoe insert might help with the numbness. It won’t fix the problem, but it might mask the symptom until the offseason.

    GL at worlds.

  • Jomo

    Booyah! Congratulations on making it into World’s this year; and congratulations on piecing together a season out of the parts you had available. You know the course at Mont Tremblant; it is obviously a good course for you. Just chill and ‘therap’ for 5 weeks and you should be booyah to the max at World’s. Looking forward to it!

  • Becky

    Happy to follow the journey!! And yes, best video ever. 🙂

  • well done on the qualifying !
    does sound a bit brutal..

    I had a numb or painful R leg for most of 2006 due to sciatica/piriformis problems, caused by a hard saddle set too high on the TT bike. Switching saddles, tinkering with height, plus adding a neoprene cover fixed it eventually. Of course there were also some months of the usual tedious PT exercises and tennis-ball rolling.
    Qualified for AG Worlds in that year, which was a big win for me – so I’m sure you can win Worlds even if the left foot is just along for the ride..

  • I loved the video of Jude! Oh and you’ll rock it at World’s 🙂 GL!

  • The “Heyyy me” onesie is a winner.

  • linda williams

    met you @ nyc tri expo – great to meet a pro athlete and entrepreneur so down to earth who was genuinely happy to take pictures with people and sign an autograph. Great races, congrats on getting into worlds.

  • Marina

    Hi Jesse,
    As always great article. I had sciatica pain on my bike which was caused by my bike fit. Once my seat was raised my pain disappeared. I hope this helps.
    You will be ready in 5 weeks. We all will be chearing for you.

  • Kathy peacock

    Awesome. It’s fun following your races, travels and growing family. Looks like everyone is healthy and happy. I’ll hope to run into you at some point in Bend.

  • Congrats! I was hoping we might see you at the Lake Tahoe 70.3 this year. 🙂
    Adorable video. There is nothing better than a baby’s laughter! Straight from the belly!

  • Elyse Lazaruk

    Hey Jesse –

    Congrats on qualifying and an awesome NYC tri finish. I attended the tailwind race IQ that you skyped in for and like you was totally disappointed when the director said the current was going to be slow. Super surprise on Sunday am that the current was so fast you could have floated! I am no pro, in fact NYC tri was my first, but I had a similar issue on the bike with my lower right leg acting up and going a little number. Acupuncture helped a ton! You should try this if you haven’t already! Hope you come back to NYC to race.

    Good Luck.


  • Hey Jesse,
    Congrats on qualifying for Worlds! I would recommend 3-6 quality massage sessions with an experienced sports massage therapist and 2-3 chiropractic adjustments before your next race coming up. You have to get the sacrum off of your sciatic nerve, which could easily be from chronic tension is a number of different muscles or ligaments that attach to the sacrum or lower lumbar spine. It’s hard to say without more information. Unless you’re in San Diego, there is little I can do for you from here my friend. Try and find a Chiropractic Kinesiologist and a Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP…basically a fancy name for a massage therapist with a lot of training) if possible. Best of luck!

  • Heather

    Sciatic: get a road hockey ball (just slightly less give than a tennis ball) and whenever you are sitting down, which is probably pretty rare for you, sit on the ball. You will know you found the right spot when your leg goes numb. Acupuncture, stretching, etc also work, but on a daily basis the ole ball on the bum works magic.

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