Heyo Crazy Ass Fans!
I’m proud to say that 2016 successfully kicked into high gear on Saturday with a solid 6th place finish in a stacked Oceanside 70.3 field. Looking back on it, that’s four years at Oceanside, and though it’s technically my lowest finish ever, I’m very proud of the performance. More on that later below – here’s what happened.
Swim EZ (The Wrong Way)
I had what I’d call a not bad not great swim. I think I went out a little too easy because 6 minutes in the pace felt a little relaxed. So I took the lead of my group at the halfway point and led them all the way in….PAST the finish line. And by PAST the finish line, I mean that I swam past the exit ramp back to entry ramp while thinking, “Why are they letting all these age groupers in while we’re exiting?” while people on the dock yelled, “WRONG WAY!” Moments before getting clobbered by 100 eager wetsuited age groupers, I turned around, and swam back to where I was supposed to exit, in the very back of the group I just led – 17th place I think. Not bad, not great.
Bike Hang On For Dear Life
I think this picture and caption adequately describes the bike ride:
— Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) April 3, 2016
Honestly, it was balls to the wall from the get go. I passed Jordan and Sebastian in transition and knew Lionel was behind me, so I wanted to push as far as I could before those guys inevitably came by. So I went super duper hard right off the bat. I rode for about 20 minutes before Sebastian caught me, then about another 10 minutes before Lionel caught us.
The pace was cranking and I kept telling myself, “5 more minutes, 5 more minutes…” Etc. Every time I thought I was dropped I’d somehow close back up on a climb or some other random spot and kind of regret it because it meant I had to stay with them some more. I’d glance at my power meter and just laugh because it was absurdly high and unsustainable, but I also knew that I’d ride a LOT faster as long as I could keep those guys in my sights, so I stayed on it as long as I could.
We passed a whole bunch of people until I finally couldn’t close the gaps anymore. At one point I was about 35 seconds behind the lead group, but definitely ran out of steam the last 30 minutes. Once I was solo I tried to recover a bit, make up some missed calories and hydration, and ready myself for what I knew was going to be a very long run. I came off the bike in 8th place, passing 12 guys and getting passed by 2.
Run Blow Up Less Just a Little Bit Less Than Trevor Ideally
All the crazy assers out there know I’ve only been running about about 5 weeks post traumatic grocery unloading accident, with a longest run of 11 miles. So I wasn’t expecting to light this course on fire, especially after a glute and quad busting bike. My goal was to run very cautiously for the first 8 miles, and that’s what I did. It was pretty strung out so I just focused on staying hydrated, running “tall,” and not running too hard.
At 2 miles, I thought this would definitely be the worst run of my career, at 4 miles, I surprisingly felt a little better, and by 6, I could tell that I was gaining on a couple of guys in front of me. I passed Sam at mile 8 to move into 7th place and celebrated for about about 9.5 seconds before Eneko passed me. I made a fake attempt at staying with him, but I wasn’t confident I could hold an increased pace, so I just kept it chill. Then at about mile 10, I saw Trevor and managed to pass him just after 11 miles. As Trevor and I joked about afterwards, at that point it was a battle of who was blowing up the least, and luckily I blew up just a little bit less than he did.
Special thanks again to the Fil Am Tri Club for the energy out on the run course again!
The new ROKA Wetsuit is A+: People, you’re going to love the new ROKA Maverick X wetsuit. I was lucky enough to get to be one of the first people to receive one just before the race. I did a 15 min practice swim on Friday and decided it was definitely better than any wetsuit I’ve ever tried, so I went for it. Despite going out to slow and missing my last turn, I felt great in it. I don’t want to spill the beans on what makes it great, but it IS great, so check it when they release it!
Last fall’s bike progression is sticking around: Last year at this race I rode the hardest I’ve ever ridden, and this year I rode harder. Based on a quick look at my Powertap file, it was the best I’ve ever ridden for a half. The times were a few minutes slower across the board, but it was much windier. I rode within 90 seconds of Lionel and Andreas Dreitz (who had the fastest bike split at 70.3 Worlds last year). I’m pretty stoked with that effort, especially in early April, and it shows that some of the fitness I gained prior to Worlds last year has stuck around in my legs. Good things to come.
— Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) April 4, 2016
1:16 off that bike and about 5 weeks of running, I’ll take it. I came into this race REALLY under trained on the run, with only about 100 total miles under my belt. Again, good result.
Overall – Not bad for a CEO. If I’m being totally honest, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this race. The last few months have been super stressful. Besides the freak toe break, I’ve had some serious Picky Bars work that has taken the vast majority of my time and mind space since October. When I talked to Matt after the race, his first response was, “that’s not too bad for a full time CEO moonlighting as a professional triathlete.” And while that’s not quite the case, it’s felt a little like that the last few months. It’s not an excuse, but the “triathlife” has been a little too weighted to that side (I’m searching for a President to help with some of that). Overall, I’m very happy with the effort and really appreciate everyone’s support.
Next Up: Big Picky Bars Stuff, Wildflower, and IM Lanzarote
We have some pretty big stuff on the Picky Bars side (the reason I’ve been working so hard) I think you guys will be stoked to hear in the next week or two, so stay tuned. After that, I’m headed to Wildflower in 4 weeks, with the intent of racing Ironman Lanzarote on May 20th if all my parts are clicking and ready to go. More on all that later, so stay tuned!
Descente – Massive massive thanks to Jaehwan, Catherine, and the whole team at my newest sponsor Descente for the awesome support. The prototype kit worked great, especially for a first crack, I’m stoked to continue to put all the pieces together.
Jaybird – Thanks dudes! Looking forward to some filming soon!
ROKA – As stated, the new wetsuit is bomb! Stoked for that to launch and some other fun fun stuff down the road. Thanks dudes!
Red Bull – Nailed it on the run again, was awesome to have on course! Thanks so much for all the support guys!
Dimond – BAM bike was rolling! Thanks a ton dudes for having it all dialed. Stoked for continued fast splits.
Refuel – Guys, you kept Jude chill on the plane when my iPad almost died (as pic below). THAT is HUGE! Massive thanks for the support.
Picky Bars – You guys know you rock. See you in the office tomorrow.
Knight Composites – New wheels were quick! Thanks so much for putting it all together and having them ready to roll. Massive appreciation and stoked to get some more rides on em!
Coach Matt Dixon at purplepatch fitness – Another great start to the season for me and his other athletes (below). Good things to come! Appreciate all the help, Matt.
Family, friends, and CRAZY ASS FANS! You guys are the best. Seriously this life is wild, I really appreciate your help. Was awesome to have people cheering and meeting me during and post race. I always appreciate it. Thanks Jude and Lauren for the high 5s during the race!