nothing can rain on my parade today

4:13:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

today is a great day... today is the day before I pick my husband up and bring him home.  No more wondering and wishing... he's really coming home.  In less than 24 hours I will be face to face with my best friend again.  Tomorrow night I will inch my way back to my side of the bed because I will no longer sleep alone.  Tomorrow I will fall back in love all over again with the man that makes me smile through life.  Tomorrow will be a new beginning to the rest of our lives together.  We will laugh, we will dance, we will share silent little moments of loving stares, and we will just be.  Together again.  Today is a great day.

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I got a phone call yesterday...

4:14:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

my LAST phone call from Nick until he's stateside.  We're in single digits!  I can't wait to see his face again!

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sweet summertime

4:00:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

There's nothing I love more than a hot sunny day in the summer... except maybe a hot summer day making memories with the best friends a girl could ask for.  Friday was one of these days, and when you add in two adorable little girls, a late afternoon showing of Eclipse, and a Mexican dinner, the day is nothing short of perfect.

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after 5 years of impatiently waiting...

10:32:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments

I finally got my first dslr!  I had my heart set on the Nikon D90, but after a little more research and thought I decided to go with the d5000.  I couldn't be happier.  While the rain poured down yesterday evening leaving me confined to my house, I gathered up some scrap fabric and a little padding and made a camera strap cover.  It took less than an hour, and I'm quite proud of the results.  I was in love with all of the covers I found on Etsy, but couldn't stand to spend money on something I could make myself.

many more pictures to come in the future!

 

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baby Caroline!

9:57:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments

I finally met my sweet little baby Caroline... she is the little speckle that belongs to my dear friends Carrie and Shane.  I would say I'm madly in love, but I don't even think love describes what I feel for that little baby girl.  She has definitely made the list for reasons to stay in Tennessee.

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training has begun!

8:29:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Today was my first day of training with the YMCA, and it was GREAT.  I was the only runner there (the group is made up of runners, walkers, and run/walkers), so I got one-on-one training with a seasoned marathon veteran.  I usually run in the mornings after a 12-hour shift at work, so I was amazed at my energy level after a full 6 hours of sleep.  We ran a 5k in under 31 minutes (9:56 pace).... over a minute faster than my 5k last Sunday!  I also managed to pull out a 7 min pace for the last 1/4 mile of the run.  I've never had the self motivation to push myself at the end, so that was a proud moment.  My coach was so encouraging and really made me confident that I WILL run this 13.1 miles and am more than capable of doing it.  He seems to think I'll break 2 hours.... as long as I break 2:30 I'll be happy.  There should be plenty of half marathons in my future to work on better times :)

If you haven't already, please donate to the Restore Ministries of the Middle TN YMCA to fund my training!  I need to raise $125 by next week, and another $125 in the weeks to come.  Your help is greatly appreciated!

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so... about the 5k...

10:52:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

My first 5k didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped.  I thought that running with a group and knowing it was a true race and counted for something would be great motivation to improve my distance, but it was hard.  I had a lot of factors going against me... I worked 10 hrs overnight prior to the race, I hadn't eaten in a loooong time, and my water ran out 45 min before the race started.  I've learned in the past 2 months that hydration is everything when it comes to running.  I've also been cheating for the last month since the temperature soared to over 95 degrees on several occasions, so I wasn't prepared for the heat and humidity and what felt like 3.1 miles of an uphill battle.  

Despite everything that went wrong, I did it.  I ran my first 5k, and my first race ever.  I can scratch that off the list of goals to accomplish, and move forward to longer distances and the many races I have lined up on my calendar in the months to come.

I never run for speed, so I was satisfied with my 32.01 time in the 5k.  I found myself at the front of the pack during the start of the race, and before I knew it I had completed the first mile in 6.5 min.  Not good.  I usually strive for a 9 min-mile pace, and I wore myself out much too quickly.  My competitive nature kicked in, and I couldn't stand to watch anyone pass me.  Next time I'll be sure to line up in the very back and force myself to go slower than I want.  32.01 might be a pathetic time for many, but I was just glad to cross that finish line in one piece.  I have plenty of years ahead of me to improve my time and start winning these races.

 

I knew when I showed up at the Country Music Hall of Fame this morning that the Fourth of July Music City run was in honor of our troops, being that it was Independence Day, but I wasn't prepared for what I learned after the race.  While I was rehydrating and catching my breath I pulled the new t-shirt out of my bag to check it out, and saw what was printed on the back:

Proudly supporting currently deployed 278th Armored Calvary Regiment in Iraq

I immediately lost it.  In my mind I was running for Nick and my other friends in the 278th and thought about them every minute of the run, but didn't realize that the entire run was dedicated to them and the Wounded Warrior Project.  The combination of endorphins flowing through my blood and the emptiness I feel until Nick returns home safely collided for a 15 min. post-run sob in the middle of the Country Music Walk of Fame.  I had just finished my first real race since becoming a runner, and a new me, and I hadn't talked to Nick in over 2 weeks.  I felt like a whole new person... a new person that he had yet to meet.  I feel like I've dealt with this deployment well over the last 7 months, but I also feel like he has missed out on so many important things in my life.  I couldn't handle another milestone that he wasn't a part of.

The day wasn't completely lost though, because a few hours after arriving home I was shocked to receive a call from Nick.  It was amazing.  We were able to talk for nearly an hour, and words can't describe the way it felt.  2 weeks might not seem long to go without talking to someone, but when it's your best friend and your rock that you share everything with 2 weeks can feel like an eternity.

I can't help but count down the days until he's finally home.  It still doesn't seem real, but I don't think it will until I'm safe in his arms once again.  It's impossible to understand just how much I miss him.

 

If you haven't already, please check out the donation page for my half-marathon training.  100% of all donations go to the Restore Ministries of the Middle TN YMCA.  I need your help to make my dream of becoming a half-marathon runner a reality!

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I ran my first 5k!

9:39:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

What have I done today?  Well, I've worked a full overtime shift and ran my first 5k. Not just any 5k... a race honoring our soldiers of the 278th ACR currently deployed in Iraq.  They ran with us, all the way in Camp Taji.  What are YOU going to do today to celebrate your independence?  Whatever you do, please don't forget the brave men and women that risk everything to ensure your freedom, and the freedom of nations around the world.  While you're drinking beer and watching fireworks, they're fighting for their lives to make sure you can do just that.  

 

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

 

more on my first 5k later...

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still going strong... but I need your help!

11:01:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I'm still running, and I'm still loving it (most days).  I'm not running 7 days a week anymore, but I'm maintaining a good 4-5.  It's been over 2 months since I began my journey into running... 2 MONTHS.  Probably the longest I've ever stuck with any workout routine.  It's not a phase, it's not a hobby, it's not a trend... it's a habit.  Even on the days that I'm not really looking forward to my run, my goals and progress keep me motivated.

Now comes the favor...

As much as I love running, I'm not very optimistic that I can make it to 13.1 miles alone.  The plan was always to do weekly long runs with Katie to train for the half marathon in September, but 2 months later our schedules have yet to allow it.  So I've decided to train with a group at my Y, but in order to do that I need to raise $250 (or more!) for the We Build People campaign in middle TN.  I'm happy to donate to the cause myself, but it would be helpful and greatly appreciated if I could raise some of the funds and even exceed the required amount.  I have been assured that 100% of all proceeds will go directly to the organization.  Here's a little info about the campaign:

Your gift to the YMCA is crucial in making our mission possible. The Annual We Build People Campaign and the YMCA Foundation offer opportunities to make donations.
Your gift to the YMCA We Build People Campaign makes our mission possible: to not turn anyone away due to an inability to pay. Our campaign helps to fund programs such as Y-CAP, Urban Services Youth Development Center, membership assistance, Restore Ministries,Fun Company, DiabetesSmart, ABC (After Breast Cancer), swim lessons, Christian Emphasis and the USSAA program. With your help, thousands of kids and families have the opportunity to participate in nurturing programs that help them grow in spirit, mind and body. Every dollar raised goes directly to providing assistance for people who are in need. Please join us in helping build strong kids, strong families and strong communities. To find out more about how you can help:

If you can donate $5 or $10, it will not only help out a great cause but it will also help me to reach my personal goals and scratch something off my bucket list!  Running has been life-changing, and I promise there will be many more races in my future (some before the half marathon... but more about that later).  If you can't donate financially, I welcome emotional support and encouragement too!


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Want to donate or help? Simply go to the link below:

http://www.active.com/donate/YMCA2010/jaclyn

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