10 Tips to Race Tough

7. Work Your Brain

Remi Hoffman of Berline Heights, Ohio, counts footsteps, while Simon Moyse of Snohomish, Washington, says he simply counts to 10 repeatedly. "Before you know it, you've done that 60 times and you're 10 minutes closer to your goal."

Some smart runners make their minds really work. "I do mental math, like long division or multiplication," says Christine Cruz of Rockledge, Florida. "It's an easy way to keep my mind from thinking about how much longer I have to run." "I conjugate the verb 'to run' in Spanish in as many tenses as I can remember," says Jess Christensen of Earling, Iowa. "Corro, corres, corre, corremos, correis, corren..."

More: 4 Mental Tips to Boost Your Run

8. Don't Embarrass Yourself

"There's nothing worse than looking like a sucker walking down the road all sweaty six miles from home," says Joshua Lundin of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. "Having people around witnessing my run is like being accountable-as if I'm thinking about walking as soon as they're out of sight," agrees Ali Collier of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "I form a mental picture of my proud family and their big grins at the finish line," says Julie Bledsoe of Greenwood, South Carolina. "It gets me through every time."

"I dedicated each mile in a marathon and kept running so I wouldn't have to fess up to walking anyone's mile!" -Annie Tindall Birmingham, Alabama

More: 5 Ways to Run Past Your Mental Blocks

9. Keep It in Perspective

"I think about how I made it through delivering a nine-pound baby-twice!" says Griffin of Texas. "I remember when I went through a divorce, and when my house burned down," says Doug Widowski of Rockford, Illinois. "I remember how I have had surgeries on both my knees," says Noah Brooks-Motl. "And I've made it this far." Says Krista Englert of Rochester, New York, "I survived two combat tours to Iraq. Pain on a run is nothing that I can't handle."

10. Count Your Blessings

"I remind myself that any kind of running is a luxury I am afforded," says Brenda Carawan of Virginia Beach, Virginia. "There are too many people who wish they had two legs to run on. I am thankful for the body I've been given." Kathie Cheswick of Thunder Bay, Ontario, works in an outpatient physiotherapy clinic. "I run a mile for the patients who have touched me the most," she says. "I usually run out of miles before I run out of patients to run them for."

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