The Face of Doubt

A few weeks ago, I ran my first triathlon race of the season.  As I mentioned in my race report, there were a number of factors beyond my control that contributed to a slower race time, but there were also a number of things that went well for me in the race to reflect my training and preparation.  Still, a few weeks out from that race and I was feeling somewhat disappointment.  With an overall finish time of 2:32 in an Olympic distance race, my goal of qualifying for the U.S. Age Group Team at Nationals in August seemed a bit far-fetched to me.  I knew from previous conversations with Coach Dai that my finish time at Nationals would need to drop down to sub 2:20 and probably more like a 2:18 to stand a solid chance.  He assures me that racing a 2:15 would nearly guarantee a spot on the U.S. team.  2:15? Ha.

So, it was with a spirit of realism that I scheduled a meeting to discuss how we might need to adjust my goals for August.  While I really, truly want to make the team, it isn’t the end-all and be-all of my triathlon career.  Mostly, I want to aim high but also make sure my goals are reasonable… just a LITTLE bit crazy, not certifiable.  I expected Dai to agree with me.  He didn’t.  I was surprised to hear him say that he still felt my goal was reasonable.

At this point, I will insert a motivational video of me crossing the finish line at the 2013 IM 70.3 World Championships.  I was sick with a low-grade fever and desparately wanted to quit before I even started the bike… but look how happy I am that I stayed with it and finished!!  Also, that’s my dad’s voice repeating “Pollman-Turner” because this is a video they made watching the live feed.  For some reason, hearing him say that chokes me up… every… time. 🙂

He pointed out to me that, because of my school and work schedule, I had not been training a large amount.  Well, not for me, anyway.  We have been keeping a positive balance of work/life/training and Dai emphasized that he felt we have been maintaining the RIGHT balance, a healthy balance.  However, that balance hadn’t allowed me to maximize my training.  This month, I’m down to only one class and a few days of work.  Next month I will have NO class and NO work (unless I voluntarily take someone’s shifts). I’ll have my dissertation to finish up but Dai says I get to train like a professional athlete with a few additional commitments. haha.  I’m excited and slightly intimidated.  I’m afraid to keep shooting for the goal of qualifying for the US World’s team.  But I think “afraid” is good.  I think that your goals should scare you, at least some of them should.  If they aren’t a little bit scary or a little bit crazy then they probably aren’t big enough!

And speaking of scary goals, I remember when I hestitated to apply for a masters or doctoral program because it seemed “too hard.”  I didn’t think I could handle such an academically rigorous program.  Yet, here I am!  I’m finishing up my very last course at the doctoral level and preparing for internship.  Regent University holds a commissioning service for 4th year doctoral students who are heading off to internship; even though we won’t be able to officially graduate until we complete our internship, this is a monumental change for all of us. Therefore, on Friday, May 16th, we had an intern commissioning ceremony in which the faculty prayed for us and celebrated our 100% internship match rate (that means that everyone from Regent University who applied for an internship this year received an internship). I was actually expecting to find it a bit boring but the whole thing really hit me in the feels! I was holding back tears throughout the ceremony.


We were each prayed for, specifically and personally, by at two faculty members.  I asked for prayers to aid us in making this transition and in leaving behind a community that for which we have so much love.


Justin has been with me through the majority of my doctoral journey.  I couldn’t have done this without him!  Plus, neither of us were in workout clothes or pajamas so we HAD to get a picture.

I think that attending the 4th year commissioning ceremony helped me appreciate how NOT impossible the impossible goals truly are.  With that said, I’m looking forward to three weeks of hard training with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.  I have my wonderful little family to help me along the way.  Clover is adjusting nicely to family life…


It turns out that THIS little girl is a RUNNER! Who would have thought?  So far, she has PR’d her mile at a 9:15 pace but that included a quick poo and some sniffing.  She ran 1.5 mi with me yesterday and her last .5 was sub 9 so maybe I’ll have an easy-run buddy pretty soon.  The extra exercise is keeping her excessive energy at bay, though she eats like a runner now so we’re literally paying the price (of more food)!  Regardless, she’s going to help keep me on track!


 Of course, Tibby is ALWAYS there to help me out with the recovery, plus the extra snuggles help remind him that we still love him… though we’re pretty certain he’s still waiting for someone to come pick Clover up from our house and take her “home.”  Poor guy…

 Oh, yeah, I’m also still working on my dissertation.  Whew.  Well, I’ll fit it in with the two to three-a-days somewhere. haha.  Now that I think about it, I’m a smidgy widge nervous about the increased intensity and training volume so… feel free to say something encouraging.  What workouts intimidate YOU?  How do you push through that intimidation?  What’s the scariest goal you’ve ever set for yourself?

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