Lindsay Duncan is a guest contributor who frequently runs with NoDa run club on Wednesday nights in Charlotte, NC. Having ran with NoDa run club I can attest to the legitimacy of their club. However, I felt that a full-fledged member of the club should be the one to describe their experiences of Noda Run Club. NoDa Run Club decided Lindsay would be the best to contribute to this experience ….
Lindsay is on the left!
I can honestly say that I am a new convert to both Running and to Craft Beer. A year ago at this time, I vaguely remember sipping a fruity cocktail and adamantly insisting to a runner friend that running was easily the most boring form of exercise. I wholeheartedly believed that the only reason to run was if you are being chased by some large animal. Now, a year later, I am a IPA loving NoDa run club regular that has recently decided to train for a half marathon. I have come a long way…
I have always been athletic and played lots of sports. I played four years of college soccer at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I graduated my Senior year of Collegiate Athletics completely burned out and tired after 15 years of playing high level soccer. Since then I have considered myself retired from any type of training and intense sports. I stayed active by going on walks, attending dance classes, and playing tennis and volleyball leisurely with friends. I hated running and on the rare occasion that I got it in my head that a run would be a good idea; the minute I started breathing hard was the minute I found myself ready to stop.
I felt like running was a trap where you start out feeling great and the minute you get too far from your house or car, you suddenly start gasping for air and realizing you made a big mistake.
About a year ago, I started hanging out with a group of friends that love craft beer. I at this time was not a fan of beer. The only beer I had ever drank were light beers and definitely not craft beers. I decided beer was not for me and stuck to my delicious white wine and fruity mixed drinks. After much peer pressure and taking sips of different beers, I found a few of the craft beers brewed with fruits that I found delicious. That began the gateway into stronger beers and developing a taste for IPAs, stouts and porters. Now I can say, there are not many craft beers that I absolutely dislike. There are some that I prefer to sample and wouldn’t order an entire glass of and others that I have grown to love from the bottom of my heart and the bottom of my glass.
As I began to hang out at NoDa brewery, I met people who attended the Wednesday NoDa Run Club. I was persuaded to attend one week with a few friends. I am a very social person and despite feeling nervous knowing I didn’t like to run, the idea of being with my friends, drinking beer and being outside in the beautiful weather was enough to convince me to go. I showed up surprised to see over a hundred people, quite a few dogs, and even a few babies in running strollers all hanging outside the brewery. It was a community of people, there were all levels of runners and an atmosphere of encouragement and friendliness. There were people there that had run marathons and people there to just take their dog on a little jog. No matter what pace you run, you will have others there with you every step of the way.
I remember my first run at NoDa Run Club and I actually was talking to a friend and didn’t see a crack in the sidewalk. Needless to say, I tripped and fell and before I could even react to get up, two runners I did not know behind me had grabbed my arms, pulled me up and put me back on my feet. For those that are not the most motivated to run, when you have people surrounding you on every side and you are part of a sea of runners taking over entire roads, it becomes a source of energy to encourage you to finish the run.
Since that first day, I have made Run Club a standing commitment every Wednesday. Not only am I a regular but I have invited more and more of my friends to come, whether they like to run and drink craft beer or not. It is the experience of community and the fellowship of doing something good for your health with others. I have made new friends and my love for beer has only continued to grow. I have seen my runs get easier and my times get faster. Possibly my growth in love for beer has become the motivation to run faster to get the back to the brewery sooner, who knows. Either way, it is exciting when you see yourself improve and I think the more you run the more you love to run. It is always better to do things in community and running is the best with friends alongside you and a good beer waiting for you at the end.
Noda running club runs a 1, 3, or 5 mile route every Wednesday from NoDa Brewery at 2229 North Davidson Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205 at 6:30 pm. Lindsay can be found on twitter at @linstigator and around Charlotte just being awesome!