Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

Pro Debut – Take Two

Ok, Ok, Ok, technically, I’ve been a “pro” since last July.  But let’s be honest, last summer’s unplanned, unprepared and unhappy foray into European professional racing can hardly be considered a rookie season.  It was more like when the ball boy gets asked to scrimmage with the Varsity because the 2nd string point guard is sick from the cafeteria’s sloppy joes.  I, like ball boy, was “in the race (game)” but mostly as a comparison point to make it easier for spectators to understand how good the real athletes are.  I got shellacked at Antwerp 70.3, took a “personal tour of London… Triathlon”, and ran ok, but still got my ass handed to me in Knokke Heist, So I’m going to call this my Rookie season.  And since Sunday is the first race of my Rookie Season, I’m going to call it my Pro Debut.  And because it makes a rhyme, I’m going to title this post Pro Debut – Take Two.

So the race on Sunday is a non-drafting Olympic distance, the Gateway to the Bay Triathlon in Kemah, TX.  I had never heard of this race before a couple of months ago, can’t even remember how I found it, but they offer a good prize purse and a homestay and a free entry so done and done and done.  It’s also a week before the US 70.3 Champs in Galveston, so one flight, two races, done another done.  I also thought I would dodge the competition a bit for my first race because it’s the same weekend as Oceanside 70.3, but turns out that start list includes Chris Lieto, Terenzo Bozzone, and Andrew Yoder, among others, so no done and done’s on that one.

My wheels are definitely faster, but am I faster? Only time will tell. Literally.

So what are my expectations, goals, and dreams for my Pro Debut?  In short, I have no idea.  Seven months ago I was wrecked, not sure how or if I would race again, and ended up taking 2 months completely off.  This week I’ve pondered all the differences between this year and last year, and how they might or might not affect my performance.  I’ve got a new coach and a more structured, long-term plan.  I’ve done a TON more swimming, like way more.  Between consulting and Picky Bars, I’ve been working a lot and am much busier.  And last but hardly least, I’ve got some new Rolf Prima Wheels (seriously, the only new gear, and they’re awesome!).

The engineer in me wants to account for all these variables in an Excel spreadsheet and do some kind of regression analysis that ultimately projects my performance.  But alas, I can’t do that, or at least, I don’t remember how.  So what I’ll do instead is say is that I am excited.  Just plain excited.  Excited to see what happens.  Excited to see how all these changes have affected me.  Do I think I’ll swim faster?  Yep.  Will it be fast enough to stay with some people?  Who knows?  Will I ride faster?  I think so, but how much, I have no idea.  That’s the cool thing about racing, especially your first race; you just put it out there and see what happens.


**Not sure when the race website will have results, but if you’re super keen and dying to hear what happens, probably best to follow my twitter, which is the first place I’ll post something as soon as I know what I did.  Peace out!

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