1. I am trying to be a runner [a slow one, but a runner nonetheless] I've run a few 5ks [3.1 miles] this year, I have a 10k [6.2 miles] coming up in September and I won the lottery [no, not the good kind] so that in January I will run a half-marathon [13.1 miles].
2. I have ginormous feet. I had giant feet before the kid [size 10] but when she made her debut the magical baby gods decided to also bless me by upping my shoe size to an 11. I know, I'm shaking my head right there with you in disbelief. I seriously don't understand why either. It really is just a pain in the ass finding cute shoes [nothing is "cute" at this size, it's all gargantuan and somewhat menacing]. Unless of course you have your child wear your shoes. Then it is adorables beyond belief.
And through all my research [hello Google!] the one thing I've come across time-and-time again is you need a good pair of running shoes fitted for you.
[Say what? You mean I can't live it up in my size 11 kicks that I bought at Academy over a year ago?!]But for the past month or so I've noticed the shoes had been bothering me and so, I told myself I'd make it through the horrid 5k in July, then I'd go get a new pair. But I'd go get a new pair at an actual running store.
To say I wasn't nervous would be like saying these pants are a good idea.
It's just a straight-up lie.
I was nervous for a couple of reasons - the main one being they'd laugh at me when I told them I was 'a runner'. I don't know why, but I expected one of those snort-laughs followed by a quick up and down look-over that clearly meant, "Yeah, right, buddy. You keep thinking that."
The other reason - that they wouldn't have women shoes in my size and I'd be forced to buy a pair of men's shoes. Which, there is nothing wrong with. I've actually purchased men's tenny shoes before, but it wasn't because I had no choice in it - it was because those were the shoes I wanted. And somehow that made it feel different.
Anywhoozle, with yesterday being a designated rest day according to my training schedule I decided to hit up our local running store, On The Run. I called prior to just showing up to see if they could analyze my foot [or whatever it is they do] to help me find the best type shoe for me. I spoke with an Ashley and she said yes, of course, bring your shoes you run in now and we'll get you all set up!
So, during my lunch I ran [haha, get it!] over to On The Run. It's a small store in our downtown area, and the salesperson [who was Ashley that I spoke to on the phone earlier] immediately asked me what I was looking for - so I told her. She was currently helping 3 other people, but still managed to make time for all of us. As I waited for her to finish up with some of the other customers, I browsed the store. There was a clearance rack [ SCORE!], a whole slew of information on upcoming races [yes, I took some info! Superhero 5k in October, anyone down?], compression sleeves/socks, sports bras galore, a ginormous wall of men's, women's and kid's shoes and basically, stuff to help you run. Or bike. Or swim. [For all you tri-lovers out there.]
When Ashley came my way, the first thing she did was look at my shoes and tell me to throw them out the door as far as I could. Oh, Ashley, your sense of humor gets me every time.
She looked at the wear pattern on the bottom of my shoes, made some noises [a few hmms, and huhs] which sounded all very professional. She then had me walk back and forth a few times while she stared at my feet. Yes, she stared at these giant feet-boats I prance around with - at this point instead of being self-conscious I was just relieved that she was so laid back and knowledgeable.
And then...she measured my feet.
And it became official.
I am a man.
Okay, fine, I'm not a man. But I am a woman with really, really big feet.
Because she said, "Well, you need a size 12."
At this point, if I could have fallen to my knees and screamed a very loud, very dramatic "NOooooo" to the gods of the shoes without seeming off my rocker - I would have.
But it gets better, my friends, because remember my second reason for being nervous? Well, it happened. Because she didn't have any size 12 shoes in women's in stock [and wasn't sure if they carried what I may want in that size]. She went back and pulled some from the men's - 3 different pairs. I tried on, I compared, I talked with the other customers in the store [who were also starting their running careers] and Ashley helped me find exactly what I wanted. She asked me if I was interested in other colors [the shoes I had picked were red] and I said sure.
She gallivanted [or just walked, but really gallivant? Best word ever.] to the back for the book and came out with a smile and some awesome news.
Turns out the shoes I liked, the men's shoes I adored like no other - they came in women's. And they came in size 12 women's. At this point I was very grateful I didn't fall to my knees cursing the shoe gods - for they had shown mercy on me. The only down moment was realizing they'd have to order them and I won't actually have them until next week [hopefully Thursday or Friday], but I went in to this knowing the chances I'd find a shoe, in my size, in stock were slim to none - so really no surprise.
So, now that we've gone through this whole she-bang, are you ready to see what I picked?
Awesome, right? They're Mizuno Wave rider's. I put them on, and like my wedding dress, I knew they were the one. [or two, or pair, or whatevers].
So, a huge shout-out to Ashley who was wonderful, answered every question I had and basically didn't make me feel like a moron. I'm pretty sure On The Run just found themselves a customer for life.
Have any of you ever gone to a specialty running store [or any kind of specialty store]? Did you have a good experience?
For those of you in the central Texas area - here's On The Run's Facebook & website.