First off, I am a total moron.
running walking thru crypts to try and find where the Bonemass altar is and I end up naked back at my base. (it happens!) My body is really close to my portal so I just need to run from my main base to my boathouse/portal hub. A little greyling starts chasing me and I think "I wish I could outrun this guy". That's when it hits me, maybe there is a way to run in this game. I hold down shift and sure enough I start running. So here I am on day 151 finally getting level 1 of run!
Update: I have only played 3-4 games (2k+ hrs each) since 2018 so no I am not a "gamer". Two of those games were factorio and Oxygen not Included both of which don't have a running function. So maybe that helps explain the "how?!?" Questions.
I appreciate all of the people who have had a similar experience. Moron gamers unite! 🙂