After a fast day of racing at Fenway Park, I was drinking my chocolate milk and walking back to my hotel with a teammate Miles, and we were discussing performance and the ups and downs of a season. It was a brief conversation maybe 5-8 minutes. However, Miles said something that I had heard before but somehow forgot. To paraphrase he said “I started OCR because it was fun and then got good at it. Then I started to worry about results and not fun. Once I started worrying about fun again my performance improved.”
I am not saying I do not enjoy every race and opportunity, because I do. However, results were certainly on my mind more than they needed to be. Results will take care of themselves and are often the result of previous work. So, when you are racing/running enjoy it, take in the moment, be aware of your surroundings and what amazing place you might be in.
This, for some reason, stuck with me as I got ready to race again on Sunday. As we started out the 3.5 miles race at a full sprint I was giggling to myself a little thinking, “this is going to hurt a little, but boy is going to be fun”. Well it was more fun, and I was able to run a full minute faster than the previous day. You may be able to claim this improvement was from knowing the course or many other factors. I think it is simply that my mind set was on fun and not results.
A few other lessons I learned in my 2016 OCR racing season:
• Triathlons are fun and made up of a very cool group of people.
• The OCR community is amazing and like a family.
• I enjoy pushing others to try OCR and succeed just as much if not more than my own races.
• Minimizing nights away from the Family is very important to me!
• Don’t save energy in a race you don’t what is coming next, just run hard until you can’t.
• The benefits and power of chocolate milk is not lost on the world of OCR.
• Countless times I witness all levels of athletes go for a Chocolate Milk after a race before anything else.
• Cow print pants are a phenomenon!
• I had more conversation about Milk and Dairy because random people from Texas to Maine would comment on the pants.
• Lastly I would say that traveling across the US and down the East Coast was an amazing opportunity to compete against the best that OCR has to offer. And yes, a boy from Maine can hold his own just fine.
This whirl wind of a year could not have been possible without the support of the Maine Dairy Council; I cannot thank everyone enough. I am excited for a few months away from racing… and already looking at 2017 calendar.