The Blog

20 t-shirt miles

Hello and happy Tuesday to you! [Would you believe that I actually just typed “Friday”? – sheesh! Slow down and enjoy the moment, Bon. Winking smile] Well on this beautiful TUESDAY, I’m thankful for yesterday’s beautiful run! Sunday night I checked out my schedule and saw that I had no clients until the evening (not so usual for my Mondays) and decided that I would go for a long run since I had rested completely for two days over the weekend. I went to bed excited and anticipating putting some long miles in (you know, for my “training” for “nothing” – just love to run!) but as the day began my to-do list grew.

Eventually, at 12:30 pm, I found myself finally headed out the door in my workout clothes I had put on at 8 am, ready for some long run action. Loaded with a few sermons and my fuel (see the video below), I began my trod under a very sunny sky. Although the wind was gusting, it was for once not a cold wind, so as I warmed up I gulped and shed my layers, one by one under trees as I ran, and took a chance on the weather.

Needless to say, I ended up running for just over 3 hours in a t-shirt! in January! in Calgary! and was one happy runner by the end of the those miles.

20 miler

I ran on paved trails, snowy trails, melty trails, around the reservoir and in neighborhoods. The wind was sweet when it was at my back; I trudged along, head down, like a soldier when it was in my face; the sermons filled my ears and hearts with great thoughts; the songs made me actually sing out loud at different spots along the run. What a release! What a fun run! What a different to run when rested! Winking smile [Gotta keep working on the rest thing, right Lindsay?!]

20 miles

As I finished up, I felt like I could have continued on! It continues to be in the back of my brain – a marathon. Not signing up for one or racing one (although hopefully someday), but just going out and running one. Perhaps if I had gotten out earlier; today wasn’t the day as I had to get ready for my clients, but the thought always plagues me on any run over 15 miles (which I know is a jump to 26.2!): could I just go for it?

Post-20 miles, a video!


I think the idea of really pushing myself distance-wise came after I read Born to Run (you can read my review of the book here). I don’t believe all the same running rules that can be found in the myriad of running books and magazines like Runner’s World (which I subscribe to and enjoy, for the record!). Take how often we should rotate our shoes, for example. I know if people have specific feet/knee problems they need to be more careful, but if we learn to change our running style and slowly transition out of beefed-up, highly padded shoes, we won’t need to replace them every X-amount of miles after the cushion’s gone (or after the pro’s tell you to retire them). Think about what people used to run with – little canvas shoes or barefoot! That’s just one example, and a possibly controversial one at that, but what reading that book did was challenged what I thought I could do. I’ve experimented with my fuel while running, I’ve learned to listen to my body on the road and I’ve learned that we are capable of so much more than we often give ourselves credit for! The human body is an incredible thing; combined with the mind we have been given it is capable of even more.

What do you think? Do you subscribe to the “rules” of running (adding only 10% extra a week to your mileage, changing your shoes like clockwork, etc.)? Or do you buck the trends and still survive?

I don’t mean to put following any “rules” in a bad or negative light; there’s a reason those rules were created and are followed; they work! But I’ve found so much freedom in my running by going by what my body can do because my mind says “Go for it! You’ve got fuel, you’ve got time, and you’re rested. Give it a shot!” I’m not injured yet; I’m running happy so far! Winking smile …but these really are just my two cents and I wouldn’t encourage someone who has never ran before to get out and run 10 miles. Hopefully where I’m coming from makes sense.

On that note, let this Friday Tuesday continue! Open-mouthed smile Keep living well and being well! If you’re looking for a great addition to your strength training routine, check out this week’s Tuesday Trainer  and give some of this week’s “Go-To Vanity” moves a shot (can you guess what mine is?!).

And to my runner friends out there, RUN HAPPY!


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Comments ( 0 )
  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's List says:

    We have just GOT to find you a refurbished Garmin!! Would you like me to have Travis look around?

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's List says:

    oh and I’m super impressed (and inspired) by that run! One day, Bonnie, we’ll run together!

  • Heather (Where's the Beach) says:

    Very interesting – some things I guess I never thought of. My husband is absolutely on board with trying to head towards the minimalist route. I’m stil a newbie when it comes down to running to be honest. I never knew of the 10% mile increase until last year. I would just go for however long felt good. Sometimes I might increase 2 miles, sometimes it might be shorter. I think everyone is different though. Of course, after being injured, you do start to re-evaluate and think about where you went wrong. Maybe the rules should have been followed…that sort of thing.

    • Bon says:

      Interesting thoughts, Heather. I agree – I do think every body is different and we should listen to our bodies! And rules? Yes, they are there for a reason…but I love the idea that we can rise above them too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb says:

    When I first started running I followed the “rules”. Not so much anymore. I listen to my body’s feedback more than ever now. I find it’s the best barometer for me.

    • Bon says:

      Hey Heidi – thanks for the comment! Way to listen to your body…I think that’s the most important thing above all – I like how you refer to it as a “barometer.” Totally agree.

  • Corey @ Learning Patience says:

    20 miles??? AWESOME pace and distance Bonnie – you are awesome! Nice run. I was feeling more than a bit lazy yesterday and today but no more…out I go to run. Thanks for the motivation!

    xoxo from Trinidad

  • Allie Finch says:

    I love reading your thoughts on traditional “rules” & such. Thanks for lending your own voice!

  • Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health says:

    Wow I am impressed by your distance!! That is a lot! I’m not much of a runner, but when I do run, I usually just go with how my body is feeling instead of following rules!

    • Bon says:

      That’s awesome, Lindsay – love how you’ve learned to listen to your body. Rules ARE important, but I know we are capable of so much more than limiting ourselves to rules too. 😀

  • STUFT Mama says:

    Congrats on you LONG run! What a great idea to run listening to sermons. Why have I never thought of that? 🙂 I don’t obey the running rules. I should, my training would be more effective that way. 🙂 Love ya Bonnie! Way to go lady!!!!!

  • janae@hungryrunnergirl says:

    CONGRATS on your amazing 20 mile run and in a tshirt…SO SO AWESOME!!! We really are capable of so much, thank you for reminding me of that! Raisins make DELICIOUS fuel. You’ve got this BONNIE!!!!

  • Heather Blackmon @ Better With Veggies says:

    You are so cool!! Busting out a 20 mile run with no race in site, seriously awesome chica! 🙂

    As for rules, I follow many, but not all. I think I’ve found the 10% rule isn’t really necessary for me. I had been doing some research and played around with a different approach (which I’ll blog about soon), which basically means no more than a 10 mile increase per week and holding the distance steady for a few weeks. I think it’s worked really well for me!

    Shoes, I’m strict about. For me, not switching out shoes I can feel – I always know when I’m close on the distance, which for me is around 300 miles. I’m not a heavy striker and I land mid-foot, but for me I start to feel twinges if I run in shoes beyond that distance too much.

    I completely agree you have to figure out what your body can handle – rules are a guide and a generalization – your results may vary. That’s why there are coaches, right? 🙂

  • Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner says:

    Hey Bonnie!
    Nice to catch up on your posts and see how you’re doing. 20 miles in a TSHIRT?! AMAZING!!! What an accomplishment.. definitely something to be very proud of. We are having really great weather here too and I hope it keeps up this way. It makes getting out the door for a run so much easier. Do you ever think about signing up for a race?
    I don’t think I follow or focus on any specific “rules”.. I go more with how I’m feeling, what I think my body is capable of and how my legs feel. After reading Born to Run my perspective and attitude totally changed (in a good way).. I just LOVED that book!
    You mentioned water in your video..I suggest the Nathan water belt.. it’s nice and snug, doesn’t bounce and has a little pocket to store goodies.

    • Bon says:

      Sabrina! Thanks for your great comment and encouragement! And no, I’m not much of a racer, to be honest…not sure why…just LOVE to run long! 😀 And thanks for the Nathan water belt suggestion…I might just have to buckle down and go for it one of these days. I’d love to see how different my body feels running while hydrated! 😉

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