Cho-Pat Knees, Happy Calves and Some Motivation

I ran 5 miles today and felt great until about mile 4 then kind of hit a short wall.  Really wanted to stop and just walk but then remembered an article I read in February in Runner’s World called “Running Tips, Essential Advice From Runners and Readers.”  I don’t know why I had so little energy, I ate spaghetti last night and had my Hammer energy drink but I think if I hadn’t had the number one motivational goal – “Break it Down” I would’ve walked the rest of the way home.  Basically, I broke down the remaining mile or so to the next hill – just run to the top, then the next turn – just run to the next corner, around the corner I saw a dog – just run past the dog.  It seems kind of pedestrian but it worked this morning and as Lance Armstrong says, “Pain is temporary; quitting lasts forever.”  I wasn’t in a race but pretending I was sometimes helps too.  Anyway, I’ve included the article at the bottom of this post.

Since I visited the Podiatrist my calves have been VERY happy.  No tension and very little pain, however, my left knee has begun to bother me.  Its probably from the added mileage so I’ve dropped the calf warmer and added another knee brace.  I look like I’m about to go play basketball but its made a big difference and the knee has quit ‘clicking’ when I walk.


• The strap applies pressure upon the patellar tendon below the kneecap to stabilize and tightens up the kneecap mechanism.

• Improves patellar tracking and elevation and reduces patellar subluxation.

• Adds further strengthening to the kneecap mechanism by applying pressure on the tendon above the kneecap.

• Reduce the forces of the quadriceps on the patella tendon and erosion of the undersurface of the kneecap due to a possible misalignment of the quadriceps

I will try to go to bed on time tonight, maybe my exhaustion has something to do with lack of sleep!

From the February 2009 issue of Runner’s World

Image by Asaf Hanuka
Image by Asaf Hanuka

Running Tips


Essential advice from runners and readers.

By Yishane Lee

Image by Asaf Hanuka

1. Break It Down
Forget the big picture; think small. “When things get tough, I know I can always run just one more mile,” says Jess Norton of Seattle. Or try something shorter. Adrienne Ramsey of Hingham, Massachusetts, tells herself, “You can do anything for one more minute.” Jeff Rothman of Los Angeles targets landmarks. “I say to myself, ‘Get to that building 300 meters from here.’ Then, ‘Now get to that tree 200 meters ahead…'” Harry Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, uses moving targets. “I make a game of trying to pick off people who are ahead of me one by one,” he says.

“I think, If I stop running, how am I going to get home?” -Josh via

2. Repeat a Mantra
Follow the lead of elites, and tap into the power of words. “My favorite saying is ‘Do or do not; there is no try.’ It’s from Star Wars,” says Brian Sell, 2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner. Steve Prefontaine’s “Pure guts race” inspires Octavius Bonacquisti of Austin, Texas, while Kellana Hindert of Cincinnati invokes Ryan Hall’s “Run the mile you are in.” A runner who wishes to be known simply as Jeff repeats Lance Armstrong’s “Pain is temporary; quitting lasts forever.” Heidi McIlroy of Kent, Washington, takes a different approach, talking trash-to herself. “I say things like, ‘Legs, you’re fine. No big deal. That hill? Hardly anything. Don’t be such wimps, just keep moving.’ Works like a charm.”

3. See Success
Cara Hawkins of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, imagines she’s racing against Bernard Lagat, Alan Webb, or Kara Goucher-and winning. Says a runner who calls herself Bunny of Ann Arbor, Michigan, “I think about the last guy that broke my heart-then I think about passing him.” A runner named Vince, in training to go to Iraq, imagines outrunning an insurgent in a combat situation: “Any improvement now will have life-saving effects later.” Police officer Katie, who patrols an urban area, reenacts foot pursuits on her runs. “The adrenaline kicks in, and I forget about the pain,” she says.

4. Think Hard
“I’ve learned that when I really focus on one thing, I won’t think about what hurts,” says James of Fort Worth, Texas. Lindsey Schaffer of Pullman, Washington, says, “I make sure my shoulders aren’t tense, my footfalls are straight and firm, my back is straight, and that each breath is deep. The miles have passed before I know it.” Patrick Gerini of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, says he concentrates on the sound of his footfalls and breathing: “I hypnotize myself this way.” Ric Stewart of Lyons, Georgia, suggests thinking about body parts that don’t hurt: “My index finger feels great!”

5. Remember the Reward
“I bargain with myself-I don’t have to do anything for the rest of the day, and I can eat whatever I want,” says Ashleigh Griffin of Midland, Texas. Margaret Turner thinks about her postrun steak and big glass of red wine. Kendra Pudlowski of Jefferson City, Missouri, reminds herself that she lost 118 pounds in the past year through diet and exercise. “I recently won my age division at a local 5-K,” she says. “Running is what sets me apart from others around me struggling to be healthy.”

6. Listen Up
“The best thing to keep me going is a song in my head,” says Nathan Gringras of Richmond, Virginia. Like many runners, Joel Harrison of Fair Oaks, California, goes for the theme song to Chariots of Fire. “Mos Def & Massive Attack’s song ‘I Against I’ helps me remember that it is only a battle between my mind and my body,” says Cathryn Windham of Austin, Texas. John Frenette of San Francisco, likes all kinds of aggressive music. “It helps me dig deeper and re-channel energy,” he says. Jean Owen prefers the spoken word. “When I feel like I’m about to give in, I switch to an audiobook,” she says. “I like thrillers and mysteries-they keep me on edge.”

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…”

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

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.”


tom lowe photo, llc

tacoma, wa 98406


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