The Life-Changing Impact of Running

Life-changing journey brought runner to the streets of Austin

Running is life-changing. That is undeniable. It impacts runners of all shapes, sizes, and speeds. Running’s positive effects can be felt in veteran runners and newbies. It impacts everyone differently. For Jose Antonio Santiago, it all began with trying to complete 100 meters. It wasn’t easy, but it took him on a life-changing journey. Learn how that 100-meter run brought him to the streets of Austin and introduced him to his favorite marathon, the Austin Marathon.

From 100 meters to the Austin Marathon

Jose Antonio Santiago poses at the 2019 Austin Marathon finish line with a Mexican flag. His life-changing journey began when he started running nine years ago.

Jose Antonio Santiago poses at the 2019 Austin Marathon finish line.

It all started nine years ago, trying to run 100 meters continuously. I found it difficult. After I did that I increased the distance to 200 meters. Six months later I ran my first 5K. After crossing my first finish line, I felt an emotion so strong that my life changed completely. Running is life-changing. In the following weeks, I ran my first 10K. Two years after I began running I completed my first marathon in Monterrey, Mexico, where I live. I crossed the finish line in 5:01. 

Austin Marathon love

I went to Chicago in 2018 and ran the marathon in 4:16, a 45-minute improvement. My most recent marathon was the 2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Everything allowed me to experience the city of Austin in a different way, the course, the people, the State Capitol, the finish line festival. I’m excited to return to Austin and run my favorite marathon on February 16th! One reason I love my annual visit is I get to soak up all of Austin while running the Austin Marathon.

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, Angela Clark, Rebecca Galvan, Jeremy Tavares, Axel Reissnecker, Blair Nagel, Brittany Drennan, Rene Arguello, Christy Thomas, and Shawn Livingston.

January Running Playlist Additions – 10 Must-Add Songs

Spice up your tunes with these January running playlist additions

You want music? We’ve got music! Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World and we are big music lovers. That’s why we’ve created this #WeLiketheSoundofThat playlist! We share every song on Twitter. Follow us so you know what’s next. We’ve taken 10 of our recent additions and put them in this convenient blog. Listen to the playlist (100+ songs and counting) and refresh your music with these January running playlist additions. Learn how to protect your phone if the forecast calls for rain.

Sexy Back – Justin Timberlake feat. Timbaland

This is an absolute classic. No questions about it. If you stop running for a minute and start dancing, that’s okay. Just remember, you’re the one bringing sexy back!

Figure It Out – Royal Blood

Stuck in a training rut? Add this song to your playlist, take off on your run, and the electric guitar will help you figure it out!

You May Be Right – Billy Joel

Billy Joel has tons of hits, but we chose this tune because this is what long distance runners say when non-long distance runners claim they’re crazy.

Pearl Cadillac – Gary Clark Jr.

This slow, relaxing jam is ideal for the cool down portion of your long run. Plus, it’s our opportunity to ask Gary Clark Jr. if we can use his Pearl Cadillac as our lead vehicle. He’s from Austin too so you know we’ll let him drive!

Lyla – Big Red Machine

This collaboration between Aaron Dessner (The National) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) provides a steady tempo. Stay locked into your pace when this song comes on!

Good Times and Bad – Shiny Ribs

Playlists that have this tune from Austin’s own Shiny Ribs are scientifically proven to have more good runs than bad!

Texas Sun – Leon Bridges and Khruangbin

Let’s keep the Texas musician train rolling with this collaboration from Fort Worth’s Leon Bridges and Houston’s Khruangbin! You’ll enjoy the rise of the Texas sun at the start of the Austin Marathon.

Fire – Black Pumas

Keep your training on track and Sunday, February 16th, will be smooth sailing! Pro tip: we’re contemplating adding the entire Grammy-nominated album from Austin’s own Black Pumas to our playlist. It’s that good!

 Little Black Submarines – The Black Keys

If you need a jolt of energy add this jam to your playlist and wait two minutes. Use that time as your warm-up. Then prepare to crank up the intensity!

Rise To The Sun – Alabama Shakes

The lyrics of this song alone warrant a spot on this playlist. Wake up, remember your goals, and attack the day. Plus, Alabama Shakes are legit!

Add these January running playlist additions before you take off for your next run. These 10 songs can pump you up, allow you to catch your breath, or help you focus on the warm-up/cool-down. However you incorporate music, just make sure you can still hear your surroundings. It’s important to know what’s going on around you! Is there something you do that we didn’t list? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.