Suck it up Buttercup | By Alex

Suck it up Buttercup. What a phrase.

I think this becomes my motto come training times. When I either have a race in mind or a goal in mind. It becomes my motto even more when the winter hits and god forbid a polar vortex sweeps the nation. Get ‘er done. 

We all have ways we cope with these training moments or dare I say training slumps. The biggest one though, is switch it up and take advantage of what is around you. Since moving to DC, my whole fitness outlook has changed because I have realized – there is so much out there! Sure, I am a runner. I will always be a runner. But it feels nice to always keep my body guessing. Sometimes in big ways and sometimes in little ways.

I am no guru, not even close. But I thought I would throw out some ideas and ways that I keep it fresh (or at least ways I wish I could keep it fresh… two jobs puts a big time restraint in this). Is this what you are saying to yourself daily?


1.You are a runner who is BORED silly. This is when you know it is time to switch up routes. Especially when you hit daily high mileages or even for those long runs, you need a change of scenery. I do this thing where a few times a month I will have an ‘explore’ day. This is always on a weekend when my time is less limited. I just try a new route and see how long it takes me, looking out for shortcuts or what not. This way when I am more crammed for time during the week I know – hey that new route took me 90 minutes, I can do that.

2. Get me off this hamster wheel of a treadmill.  I know, I am with you. I hate this treadmill. But lately I have been forcing myself to use it once a week for some great speed work because it is so much easier to control. I always get a different workout to do and find my little ways that get me through it. For instance, reading – changing speeds – a killer playlist – watching tv – whatever floats your boat. Last resort, covering up those damn numbers and times so you can’t see it (sadly this is not possible when doing intervals or speed work).

3. I need someone to push me. This was me especially in the strength training department. I struggled to get myself to fit in those strength sessions and didn’t see a big improvement in strength. A trainer is out of most people’s price range, I mean way out of mine, so the best way to push beyond your limits is group classes. Joining a gym was the best decision I made when coming to DC. An added bonus, my gym is close and my work has a discount through it. 35 bucks a month for someone who goes to classes 3-4 times a week – so worth the money. It also allows you to test out classes. I was so sure I would hate Body Step. I realized I only hated it because dang was that class hard. I left sweaty and totally sore. Let’s be real, sometimes you need others around you telling you to just do it.

4. But I hate doing it alone. I don’t really face this problem but I know that many people do. I can’t speak for other cities but I know that some of what DC has to offer is something most cities do as well. For instance (please note this is like a dot compared to all DC has to offer, these are just a few I have heard of first hand):

RoamFitness DC – I can’t speak more highly of this group. They take workouts outdoors, to new terrains and to new levels. If only I had time to take advantage of more of it.

Meetup – This is not just used for running groups but it does have a huge running community with various meet ups around the city and suburbs.

Group runs (at Potomac River Running! But also Pacers, LuluLemon, DC Road Runners, DC Capital Striders, City Sports, DC Front Runners, Potomac Runners, Fleet Feet, Georgetown Running Company) – All paces, all mileage and different nights of the week. Nothing says a great motivation like free local running groups.

November Project – The story behind this group is awesome but if you need a hug and someone to whip your butt into shape, this group is it. Camaraderie while in pain at it’s finest.

Revolve DC – I don’t know what it is about this spin studio but they just have this amazing energy and killer rides that make you want to keep going back. Such an involved company in the community too which I find one of the biggest benefits.

STROGA – They have it all between classes, spins and yoga. Another great environment.

5. I feel like I am working towards nothing. Some people just like to exercise because. Some people need something on the horizon though to keep them in the game. I won’t lie, a race coming up kicks me mentally and physically into gear. For me, this means always have a race calendar. Some people enter competitions at their gym. Honestly, runner friendly cities like DC – you have an abundance of races at your fingertips. I will always stay true Rock ‘n’ Roll USA (and yes you can still get $10 off with ALEXRUNSUSA). Maybe try new distances, try new races, try new locations. Even cheap people like me put a race on their calendar far in advance, before they even realize their wallet is crying.


6. I’m cheap and broke. Preach people. I have to give a big shout out to Logan on this, she is the queen of telling me (and trying to get me to go) to tons of free fitness opportunities around the city. The SweetGreen boot camp we went to was a. free, b. gave us money to SweetGreen and c. was with a super hot trainer one on one. Hello? I can roll with that. A lot of places offer those one time drop ins. I tend to subscribe to tons of fitness websites or fitness group so get those reminder emails about upcoming events. Even Groupon or Livingsocial can be a great resource to learn about places to join and give them a try at a lower coupon cost. When I first moved to DC I still remember the killer deal I got at Bikram Yoga Tenleytown -10 classes for $20 bucks! Now I know if I ever want to do a random bikram class I can head there to drop in.

7. I just don’t want to. Then don’t. I think everyone needs those longer extended breaks from formal exercise several times a year. A few days, a week, a few weeks. Sometimes a break is the biggest refresher.

Question: What is your phrase you hear yourself saying a lot as an excuse?

Written by guest blogger, Alex.