National Running Day – How I First Got Into Running

Today is National Running Day!!!! Why is today National Running Day you may be wondering? Well, nobody knows. After extensive google searching I was unable to find any reason why today of all days is the national day to run. But, honesty, who cares! Any reason is a good reason to run.

Today I clocked 5 miles around my neighborhood. I did 5 miles yesterday with my roommate Jet as well.

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But today was much hotter. The sun was beaming down 90 degrees of heat and the humidity was around 50% which made for a very physically challenging run. I ran through my neighborhood to a nearby creek that has a trail leading all the way to downtown. I was hoping to see other runners out to celebrate the holiday but, to my surprise, the trail was pretty much empty.

My body was still trying to adjust to the Texas heat but I really don’t think anyone actually ever adjusts. Instead, we all just learn to tolerate it a little better. As for me, I think I’ll always love it. All the locals keep telling me, “just wait for summer, then you’ll really feel the heat.”

Coming from Pennsylvania where we have endless winters and summers with constant rain, I don’t think I’ll ever mind the heat. If the sun is shining then I’m happy.

In honor of National Running Day I would like to take this time to explain exactly how I got into running in the first place.

It all started back in my freshman year of college when I enrolled in a class called “Walking for Fitness” to fulfill my gym credit. In my mind I thought walking for fitness would be a blow off class where we would just walk around campus or something dumb like that. However, I had a rude awakening when I met the teacher. His name was Jack Davis…or maybe it was Jim Davis…anywho, on the first day he made it very clear that this class would not be a blow off in any way, shape, or form. He is an ex-marine and would pretty much be our drill Sargent for two days a week for the next semester. There was no “just walking around campus” for an easy A. No. Instead, we became soldiers in this entry level of a boot camp class. We met at the stadium each day and did sprints across the football field and after that then maybe some push-ups and sit-ups and why not finish it all off with running up and down the bleachers a dozen times. Not gonna lie, the first couple weeks of this class were brutal. But, he pushed us; he pushed each and everyone of us past out breaking point and that is EXACTLY what we needed.

I used to hate running growing up. I dreaded doing the mile run throughout grade school about as much as every other kid and never in my life would I of thought that I would become a “runner.”

But, each day got a little bit easier and before I knew I got to the point where I didn’t feel like I was going to die after running a mile.

Towards the end of the semester we were up to running 2 miles at the end of each class (along with doing bleachers and various other exercises) and I was fully addicted to running. Mr. Davis pushed me past my breaking point and showed me exactly how fun running can be.

Once the semester ended, I kept running just about every day and each day I would try to up my mileage. One day I would do 3, then 5, then, before I knew it, I was running 10 miles without stopping!! Which, in turn, gave me enough confidence to sign up for the Presque Isle Half Marathon in my hometown of Erie, PA. I ended up completing it in just over 2 hours.

At that moment I officially felt like a runner.

If it wasn’t for that class I don’t know where I would be today. Running is such an addicting self relieving sport that everyone should try to get into. It has become such a big part of my life and has given me the confidence to ride my bicycle across America.

So, Mr. Davis, if you’re reading this, I thank you for helping me become the confident runner I am today.

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