My first half-marathon took place about a year and a half ago. I had just recovered from a neck injury and was not sure what my abilities were. Words can’t express how unreasonably nervous I was about that first race. I worried I would be run over. I worried I would hurt myself. I worried I would get lost on the course. I worried people would laugh at me. I worried I wouldn’t be able to finish. I worried.
Instead, I finished! I didn’t get lost, laughed at, or run over. I did experience a few aches and pains, but I definitely did not hurt myself. I am an athlete who completed the race. Not just that time, but five times, including the Cellcom Green Bay race in 2012.
My advice is train as best you can and then do your best. Whether you finish first or 6,323rd, you will feel wonderful. Actually, I always thought that I would congratulate myself if I finished last. What a good deed to do for the person finishing second to last.
A lot of my friends don’t understand why an Iowa girl (forty-something is still a girl, right?) would want to travel to Green Bay for the privilege of running that far. I’ve already explained why I run – the exhilaration of accomplishing something that few ever do. In truth, something most people, including me, thought I could never do.
Why Green Bay? Because the residents are out in force with sprinklers, water, snacks, and most importantly, encouragement for all. Green Bay is a race that the spectators enjoy as much as the runners. And, there’s the obvious. Green Bay is home of the Packers. All participants get to run through Lambeau Field. On that day, we are athletes like Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, and Aaron Rodgers. What could possibly be better?