I had a really bad experience with my running shoe fitting last year. My husband surprised me by taking me to a new-to-me running store while we were away for our anniversary. The store was crazy busy and there were several people being fitted. The store manager (owner, maybe?) did my fitting, but it was clear that he wasn’t thrilled about pitching in to help. Long story short, a rushed fitting + poor customer service = shoes that were too small. When I attempted to exchange the shoes, they insisted that they were the correct size and, because I’d run outside in them twice, wouldn’t accept the return or exchange. I kept running in them because I thought maybe I was the one who was wrong. These are, after all, trained professionals. 4 black, broken toenails later, I shoved them in my closet and switched back to my old, broken down running shoes. Ideal? No. Truth is, I’d just made the transition to being a stay-at-home mom and there wasn’t money in the budget for another pair at that time.
This year, I returned to the fabulous store where I had my very first running shoe fitting: Up and Running in Dayton. Back then, I was one week into the Couch to 5k training plan. Every runner I knew told me that if I was going to commit to this, I really needed to invest some good shoes. I was so nervous when I walked into that store, clearly having no clue what I wanted or needed and afraid I was going to look like an idiot. My fears were quickly put at ease. When the Up and Running staff found out I was brand new to running, they fawned over me and were genuinely excited to help. They were patient and stuck with me as I tried on shoe after shoe, running up and down the sidewalk in each until we found my perfect match.
Going back to Up and Running on Saturday was just as much fun as my first trip. The entire staff was friendly and the store atmosphere was super laid back. They looked me up in the computer to get the details of the shoes I’d purchased there before. They laughed when I hurridly confessed that I’d purchased shoes elsewhere in the meantime, then apologized and told them that I would never stray again. I explained about the bad fitting the previous year and the salesman agreed to do another fitting, just to ease my mind about what size I really needed. I knew the very first pair I tried on was the one I’d be buying. It fit like a glove. I ran up and down the sidewalk outside before confirming my purchase. Turns out, I’d picked the newer model of my very first running shoes, the Saucony Omni.
Pretty, but still tough looking. And soooo comfortable. They feel like they were designed just for my feet. I love them…all over again!
After my fitting, my sister-in-law and I browsed the awesome apparel selection a bit. We drooled over lots of things we wanted, but couldn’t afford, before finally discovering the 40% off sale rack.
I’ve been anti-running skirt for a long time because I thought they were silly. As I browsed the rack I saw a running skirt with built in pants and one with built in capris. “That’s even sillier,” I thought to myself. “Just wear pants or capris. No need to put a skirt over them.” I would never wear a running skirt. Famous last words.
As I was browsing another rack, my sister-in-law held up the ridiculous skirt/pant combo and said “This is cute, but they don’t have it in my size. I think this would fit you, though. Try it on.”
After a bit of back and forth battling (“No that’s stupid.”/”Just try it on.”/”I’ll look like an idiot.”/”Just try it on.”), I finally stepped inside the dressing room and tried on the offending garment while my sister-in-law waited outside the door.
It was the most comfortable pieces of workout gear I’ve ever put on in my life. And very, very flattering. It made my legs look really long and, when you’re 5’2″, you take all the help you can get. After a bit of time justifying the price to myself (still $54 after the discount) I decided to go ahead and buy it. I shook my head as they put it in the bag. A running skirt was the last thing I expected to leave with that day. Or ever. Never say never, right?
Update on my cousin: Thank you all so much for your prayers, thoughts and kind words! She had surgery to remove the brain tumor on Thursday. It was very sucessful and there were no complications. She’s up, moving around at regular intervals. Most importantly, her spirits are sky high! She and her parents have meetings scheduled this week with the radiology team to discuss a course of treatment. If all goes as planned, she could be home this weekend. She insists that she will do whatever it takes to fight like heck and beat this. Take that, cancer!
What’s your most-loved piece of workout apparel?