Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Specialty Running store 0, Lady Foot Locker 1

I tried to find a jacket at my local running store today. They have a bad track record with me and today was no exception. It's a small store and they don't carry a lot of inventory, and in my experience, I rarely find what I'm looking for in my size.

Quick rant: I wear a size large. I know that I have weight to lose, but I have to be very skinny before I drop into medium territory. I am a little taller than average and hippy and I have a big chest. I'm not large just because I'm fat. Really. Partly it is weight and partly it is body type. I would gladly trade my thighs in on the string-bean runner models but haven't been able to find a store that will take them.

I looked around and was not thrilled with the selection. Almost every jacket they had in my size was black and cost more than $100. I wanted a very light spring jacket and not rain gear, and I seemed to have trouble explaining what I was looking for. I found a size medium jacket on the sale rack that I kind of liked and tried it on just for grins. Weirdly, it fit me better than a large in the same brand of a different jacket, but both were too snug for comfortable movement. The third jacket, which did fit, was almost $150 and I didn't really like it. I told the salespeople that I didn't find anything I really liked in my size and left feeling really crummy. Like I was a Very Large Freakish Person Who Should Not Be Running. They had plenty of stock in medium, small, and extra small.

I went to Lady Foot Locker not really expecting to find anything. It was just a desperation move. I got very friendly help taking the one jacket that looked promising down off the wall. It was only $59. It was sky blue on the outside and had a yellow mesh material on the inside. It was made of a breathable material and had a hood. And it fit just right. Exactly what I was looking for. They were having a buy one, get one 1/2 off sale on apparel so I picked up a cute pair of yoga pants too.

I tend to feel not very welcome in specialty running stores, both because they don't seem to carry much in my size and because I feel like I am not perceived as a "real runner" by the staff. That latter part could easily be just my own insecurity talking. I know that a lot of people recommend that new runners go to a specialty running store to get their first pair of shoes, but in my experience, those stores just aren't friendly unless you look like you can do a sub-15-minute 5K. I hope that my experiences aren't typical. No one should judge a runner by looks -- I've passed lots of people wearing size xs in races and have been passed by plenty of xxls.

3 comments:

  1. P.S. Kilax had a great post about "exercising elitism" and that's sort of the feeling I get sometimes from running store staff. I'd rather just deal with the LFL salespeople, who are obviously on commission!

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  2. amen! This happens to me too. In the bike shop, running store, everywhere...I don't think it's just you!

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  3. Some stores are like that, some employees are like that. Luckily, not all are like that. I think most people are intimidated going into a running store. You just need to respect yourself as an athlete.

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07