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Don’t Fear The Running Store

Thursday, June 02, 2011

As I mentioned previously, my new running buddy and I went to a real running store to be properly fit for real running shoes, an adventure that had my stomach tied in a tiniest, whiniest of knots. Running shoes and running stores fall deep in the realm of Things Fit People Do in my brain. I had all the same fears in my head that I had when I walked outside for the first time: I certainly don’t look like a runner (yet). Will I get strange looks? Raised eyebrows? Laughs or disbelief?

Writing those thoughts out, they sound ridiculous – and they are/were. No, no one raised their eyebrows. No one laughed, and no one required proof that I run. Of course they didn’t.

The only looks we got were from the other people who had been waiting in the busy store when we were helped and they weren’t. (Not our problem, the dude came to us.) And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say the guy was friendly (you can only ask so much from an overworked employee in a busy store), he was very helpful. The only person uncomfortable in the store was me.

For anyone out there with similar brain blockage, I’ll share the process so you can see for yourself just how far down on your worry list it should be.

I wore the crappy shoes I currently run in, so he had a starting point. He asked how they were – they’re fine, just sometimes a bit tight in the toe – and then felt where my toe was inside the shoe, checked the shoe size and asked what size I wear in regular street shoes. Next, he had me take off my shoes, roll up my pant legs, and stand in front of him so he could see if my feet had any tendencies to roll or whatever. (I was “fairly neutral”, stance-wise, and very glad I’d bothered to shave my legs that morning.)

He brought out one pair for me to try on, had me jog a bit in the back hall of the store to test them out, and then brought out two more for comparison. He ended up hitting the nail on the head with the first pair: they felt like little clouds on my feet.

{My new runnin' shoes. Fancy, no?}

And that was it! Easy, stress free. Just another thing I get all worked up about that ends up being 100% no big deal. They’re needless, these mind games that we play – a fact that I need tattooed on my hand, apparently.

Do you remember your first running store adventure? Or are you a running store virgin like myself?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm really afraid to go to the running store! But my reward for walking my first half-marathon is going to be a pair of real running shoes from a real running store. I've been battling blisters though...so I've been thinking of going there for socks...but it's scary!
    3704 days ago
    Great blog! I have been so afraid of going to the running store... I weigh 270 pounds and I was thinking that they'd look at me like I'm insane. I'm still worried if they'll carry Wide sizes though. I have trouble finding wide enough shoes in regular shoe stores. I would like to start C25K as well. BTW What was the cost? I fear that as well, lol. I thought I'd do C25K instead of joining a gym because my money is very tight right now. But thank you so much for posting this...it makes me feel less apprehensive about going into the running store.

    Congrats on facing your fear!
    3704 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5523923
    I know what you mean. I went to a sporting goods store today to buy a water bottle and headbands and price the running shoes, and I kept feeling like people were looking at me thinking "what's the fat girl doing in here?" They weren't, of course, but I was still uncomfortable. It's awesome that you pushed through the nerves and did it anyway! emoticon
    3704 days ago
    I felt the same way going to the running store the first time, and had much the same experience; great help, very friendly and knowledgeable, got the shoes I needed, and felt like a real runner when I was through. Now I am such a regular there for running gear they almost know me by name, LOL! Great job pushing through the nervousness and going in; it is SO worth it to get the right shoes!

    3704 days ago
  • CRBSMITH1968
    I went to the running store for the first time yesterday too. I was a little afraid because I'm a complete noob and have been buying my "athletic" shoes at Target LOL. When I told the saleslady that I was brand new at running and training for a 5K she CLAPPED for me. She went through the same steps as you described. My feet roll in a bit, which I never knew, but after going through some different shoes, I went home with a pair that helped me feel AMAZING after my first C25K workout. Every other time I've tried running or even gone for a long brisk walk, I've suffered in pain. Not with my new shoes!
    3704 days ago
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