Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

2015 Oceanside 70.3 Preview

Heyo Crazy Ass Fans!

I can’t believe it’s been a couple months since my last update. Hopefully you’ve been able to satisfy your yearning for Jesse Bieber by following me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and/or Strava. Those of you who have know that I’ve been very busy taking selfies and retweeting bad jokes.

Alas, the 2015 season is upon us, so let’s dive into it. Oceanside 70.3 is up. Here are the details:

Come Say “Yo” at Accenture Expo Booth – Friday 3pm-3:45pm.

I’ll be signing autographs and kissing babies as usual. Please come by and bring your baby(ies). I think we’ll have some Picky Bars there as well. I’ll also have my new fancy Dimond bike for you to check out.

THIS COULD BE YOUR BABY, if you bring him or her to the Accenture booth Friday at 3pm.

THIS COULD BE YOUR BABY, if you bring him or her to the Accenture booth Friday at 3pm.

Race Info:

  • This Saturday – 6:40am Pacific
  • Follow in person: Go to Oceanside, CA and look for people in lycra.
  • Follow Online: Follow @ironmanlive and check out ironman.com.

Oceanside Tips:

I did a Google Hangout for Accenture a couple of weeks ago and talked quite a bit about Oceanside and triathlon racing/tips in general. If you can deal with my “ums,” you’ll enjoy it. You can skip all my intro stuff and get straight to Oceanside tips at 9min or so, and general Q&A triathlon tips at 24:30. Coolio!

Race Preview – Cray Cray and Chaos

As always, this race is stacked. I’d say 10-15 of the top 25 half ironman guys in world. I think the Triathlete Magazine preview says it’s “gonna be cray cray.”

It’s been a mixed bag lately and to be honest, I don’t feel particularly ready to race. While I’ve had some great workouts here and there, there’s been a lot a chaos in the background.

One Step Back for Two Steps Forward (Eventually, I Hope)

Since my switch from Specialized to Dimond, I’ve had my first opportunity to try any saddle I want. And since I was riding unbalanced on a discontinued saddle – which we believe was part of my recurring sciatic/hamstring problems – I’ve used the opportunity to try out just about everything. Seriously. I’ve tried like twenty saddles.

In conjunction with new saddles (and to make it more complicated) I’m trying to change my position/posture on the bike, which we also believe is causing back/hamstring/sciatic problems. And no, I’m not doing all this stuff just to create work and headaches for myself. I’m hoping that, eventually, these changes will enable me to ride longer, stronger, more balanced, and be less injury prone. That’s what she said.

Just a few of the positions and saddles I’ve tested over the last 8 weeks. This last one is the one I’m going with for this weekend. But I won’t be wearing sweatpants and I’ll take my bike off the rollers, it’s way faster that way.


It’s been a lot bigger pain in the butt, literally and figuratively, than I anticipated. And like a golfer making changes to his swing, it feels like taking a step backwards in the hopes of eventually taking two steps forward. Ideally, I’d have started this process in October, not late January. And unfortunately, I still feel like I’m in the step backward phase!

I’m still testing saddles and adapting my position. I’ve made some improvements I think, but the sciatic and hamstring stuff is still bothering me a bit. I don’t know how much of a factor all this will be during the race, but it does weather my expectations.

Slow and Steady, Maybe Not Quite Ready

More generally, I’m doing my best to dissociate my previous results from this race. While it’s true I was 2nd here in a sprint finish the last time I raced, that year I was in remarkable March shape (having raced well into November), and training my ass off – ultimately just a month away from breaking my foot! I’ve purposefully taken a slower approach this winter, both to rebound from the strain of cramming in a full season into 6 months last year, and in the hopes that I will be stronger come September for the World Championships.

So yeah yeah yeah, a lot of this sounds like sandbagging, and my craziest of fans know that that’s a normal part of my mental state prior to racing. But it’s all true as well. Hopefully all this mind meandering gives you some behind the scenes info into some of the stuff I (and us pros in general) go through trying to do what we do. I also want you guys to know where I’m at so if you see me out there not where you maybe expected that I still might be having a great day!

Bottom line is that I’m open to the possibility of having a great race, you never know what can happen, but I’m also aware of the many different factors that might prevent my best result from happening, and that’s ok too. I’m just excited to put a stake in the ground as a starting point and get the ball rolling on 2015!

Triathlete Mag Articles:

My latest Triathlete Magazine Article – I’m Not and Ironman, and That’s OK, was published online yesterday with some great feedback and discussion. Check it out and let me know what you think.

My latest Tri Mag article - I'm not an Ironman, and That's OK. Matt Collins, the illustrator, is a genius.

My latest Tri Mag article – I’m not an Ironman, and That’s OK. Matt Collins, the illustrator, is a genius.

A couple of others that have been published online:

Picky Bars Cycling Kits:

Finally, a quick plug for some radical Picky Bars cycling kits by Pearl Izumi that are available for pre-order only until Saturday night. If you’re interested, get your order in ASAP! The are only available until Sunday!

Picky Kit Pre Order through Sunday only!

Picky Kit Pre Order through Sunday only!


See you all on the other side of Oceanside!

4 comments to 2015 Oceanside 70.3 Preview

  • Josh

    Good luck Jesse! We’re cheering you on.

  • Roo

    Go get them Jesse! Jan Frodeno has nothing on you, uh, wait maybe he does. The guy did run a 1:11 1/2 marathon last year in Oceanside. But that was last year. Either way, I’m rooting for you to take it this year!

  • Warren

    I was wondering what kind of kit you’ll be racing in this year? Pearl or course, but I was wondering about your thoughts on one vs. two piece kits and sleeves v. sleeveless. I’m lead to believe sleeves are more aero but I didn’t know if they felt hot or restrictive especially on the run? Best of luck out there!

  • Give ’em hell out there Jesse! I have always appreciated your extreme honesty and level-headedness regarding all of the ups and downs of your career and racing. It is reassuring for us age-group athletes going through similar issues to know we aren’t alone. Rooting for you out there today!!

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