In less than 12 hours from now I’ll be on the Country Music Half Marathon course. I’ve completed my pre-race ritual which consists of gathering everything I’ll wear or take with me and calling my friend Lynn to make her aware of all that’s piled in front of me. Once she assures me I haven’t forgotten anything, I can relax.
This will be my seventh half marathon and my third Country Music. There’s just something about this event. Maybe it’s the fact that it takes place in my home town and I have lots of friends participating. My cell phone pinged all day as friends texted me about their adventures at the race expo and just basic pre-race chatter. I love lining up at the start line with 30,000 other runners and walkers. The crowds who line the course are the best; there is encouragement practically every step of the way.
I used to get nervous before half marathons. I had to complete three of them before I had the confidence I needed to realize I really can do this. I used to stress out about my finishing time. I’ve learned to let that go. I strained my back earlier this week and that’s likely to affect my already
slow easy pace. But I don’t care. There will be tons of people ahead of me and quite a few people behind me. Our finisher medals will look identical. Nowadays I just feel happy…happy to be one among so many people who enjoy an active lifestyle.