Nola loves to run. If I didn’t know better I would think she is part greyhound. I on the other hand, really only run so that I can eat french fries and not gain 500 pounds. But, running with Nola, knowing how much she enjoys it makes me happy. We have been running buddies since she was leash trained. I love it. I don’t even have to wear headphones when I run with her, just having her there keeps me going.
I’ve had some recurring knee issues (from an old college field hockey injury), so I have been hesitant to sign up for any official races. My pain is jut so unpredictable that I didn’t want to get 1K into a race and not being able to run anymore. However, when I saw there was a 5K that allowed dogs right here in Portland, I had to sign Nola and I up. The Bayside Trail 5K is in fact the ONLY race in Maine that allows dogs. This was going to be both Nola and I’s first 5K ever.
On race morning I was excited and nervous. Along with my knee issues, sometimes Nola just doesn’t feel like running with me. She would really rather run without any type of restraint. I knew I could not run 3 miles pulling her and propelling myself. My only goal was to not finish last.The race start was at the ferry terminal in downtown Portland. Although it was 8 am the first weekend in November, the weather was great. It was sunny, and a bit chilly, but not too cold. There were over 70 dogs and 145 people lined up ready to go.
Nola was getting a little anxious with all the other dogs in such close quarters at the start, but once the horn sounded to begin she was in heaven. She ran pretty fast, and I did my best to keep up. We passed several people and kept a pretty good pace all the way through. Since there were no mile markers and the route was one I wasn’t totally familiar with, I had no idea how we were doing. My knee did start to hurt at what turned out to be 3/4 of the way through, but Nola was doing so well I couldn’t stop!
The end of the route brought us to a newer part of the Bayside trail, right behind our favorite dog store, Planet Dog. PDog was also one of the sponsors of the event, so it was nice to see friendly faces of the PDog staff as volunteers along the route. They all know Nola and were cheering us on! As we approached the finish chute I could not believe what the clock said: 27 minutes! I have NEVER run 3 miles that fast, ever. It was definitely the adrenaline of running with so many people, combined with the fact that Nola pulled me right along that allowed for such a quick time.
Our official time was 27:12 and we finished 48 out of 144. We beat my goal and had a great time doing it. I loved seeing all the other dogs and their people. Nola did so awesome and the whole experience was amazing. I can’t wait to do it again next year.