So forgive the driven race director for needling a certain Road Runners Club of America executive director Saturday, after things died down.
See, Nelson and others did a lot of work, thinking they'd get a chance to keep a national 5K championship designation beyond this year. About a month before the Woodstock, the RRCA awarded that designation to a race in Lakeland, Fla.
So when RRCA executive director and former Anniston resident Jean Knaack approached Saturday, she got a good-natured poke. Call it a verbal half-Nelson.
"Not to take anything away from Lakeland, Florida," she said, "but I think we did a bang-up job here."
Nelson got nothing but agreement from Knaack, and she'll get nothing but agreement here.
The Anniston Runners Club's chance to go national went well. A record 1,024 registered runners for Woodstock and the Kidstock 1-mile fun run made it to the finish line without issues.
Then they made it to the big tent for pizza, awards and apparent fulfillment.
Women's overall winner Stephanie Pezzullo was among those who made a point to stop by and congratulate Nelson on a well-run event.
"This is a great show that they put on here," the former Olympic hopeful said. "It seemed like there was good competition. I would definitely come back."
Knaack took in the full Woodstock experience, firing the starting gun, running the 3.1-mile course and keeping an executive director's eye on things after the fact.
"What we look for is a very well-run event, certainly one that's very community-based," she said. "This just was fantastic."
And to think, it could have been just as fantastic with the national-championship designation next year.
Oh, we kid Jean Knaack.
In fairness, the final call on such things belongs to an RRCA selection committee. They have a history of dolling out designations to cities that play host to the RRCA's national conventions.
They chose Lakeland for their convention. When they learned that Lakeland's race would be a 5K and not a 10K, they gave Lakeland's race the 5K national championship designation for 2010.
It might not have stung in Anniston Runners Club circles, but Knaack and selection committee chairman Don Kardong made it sound as though Woodstock had a better-than-average chance to retain the national designation beyond this year. For more than a year, Nelson and her helpers worked long and hard with that in mind.
Then the news came like a banana peel thrown amid the yellow Woodstock course markings.
Nelson sidestepped the obstruction. Rather than focus on what won't be next year, she made it all about succeeding with this year's chance to shine nationally.
Again, all pats on the back from Knaack.
"I was not at this race in 2007, when we had a panel of people select this race as our road race of the year," she said. "Being here and seeing it, they've absolutely earned that.
"They could probably earn that every year."
Nelson has applied for the 2010 Southern Region 5K championship, which Woodstock held in 2008. Woodstock organizers will apply for national designations beyond 2010.
The national title will belong to Lakeland next year, but at least Nelson and the gang got to show Knaack what she'll be missing.
"The RRCA is a great organization," Nelson said. "They give us a tremendous amount of support, but I think that they probably will wish that they were here next year."