Sunday, December 5, 2010

Shopping for My First

I struck gold.

I was checking out the Fleet Feet Huntsville Racing Team website one day.  I clicked on "Team Blogs" and found How We Roll...  Because I'm a comments reader (most of the time anyway), I found See Jane Run.  


Jane is a local runner who (whom?) I didn't know prior to reading her blog.  I love the way she writes.  More than that, I love what she writes about most--her faith and (duh...) running.  Although she's younger than I am, I hope I can be like her one day in all three of these areas (writing, running, and how she expresses her faith).

Last night I read her most recent post, "Just Looking", and it solidified something in my mind that's been buzzing around up there for quite some time.  Let me sidestep just a minute and tell you a story.  (It's related, I promise.)

I used to shop for jeans by just going to a store I liked the look of (Gap), or a store I could afford at the time (Target), and grab up a bunch of sizes and styles and then buy the ones that were the most comfortable and/or were the cheapest.  Obviously I checked out my butt, however I never liked the way any jeans looked on me, so that never really mattered as much as comfort and price.  It never occurred to me there might be a better way to shop for jeans (meaning a way for me to find jeans that fit well, look good, and are worth the price tag).

Until I shopped with Speedy!!  After the Women's Half Marathon, she, MV8r, Mom* and I went to the mall.  Speedy wanted a new pair of jeans from Buckle.  Just the thought of shopping for jeans breaks me out in hives so I opted to watch the AL/AR game on the large Dish Network kiosk TV in the center of the mall...while the others spent no less than an hour in the store trying on every style of jeans they have.  Let me say, I didn't know there were that many kinds of jeans in one store.  Afterwards they were all talking about how Buckle has the best jeans and how the salespeople still work on commission so they strive to make you happy so you'll buy more. 

That night MV8r offered to let me borrow a pair of her Buckle jeans since we are roughly the same size and shape.  Okay...what's worse for me than shopping for jeans?  Trying on a pair of jeans that looks great on someone else (because I know they won't fit and/or look good on me).  I tried to say no, but she insisted she knew I would like them...and as usual, she was right!  They fit like a glove.  I loved everything about them.  The next week I decided to go to Buckle and buy that exact pair.  I got the size, brand and style so I wouldn't have to try anything on.

Wouldn't you know it...they didn't have them in the store.  The sales guy did everything he could to get me to try something else, telling me I could make an appointment if I didn't have time right then.  He also told me he was the manager and didn't make commission, but it's his passion to make sure people leave his store loving their jeans.   I refused, thinking I'd just buy MV8r's exact pair on-line--after all, I already found the pair I love.   Uh, no dice-not available. 

So, I bit the bullet and set up a time to "get fitted" for jeans.  I won't go into that story, but suffice it to say I left with a pair I LOVE.  They look great on me, they fit like a glove, and they are worth the price tag.  I like everything about them--the fit, the color wash, the pockets, the length.  I love them every time I put them on.

.....When I read Jane's latest post, basically about window shopping for races, it got me to thinking about how I have been choosing what events to enter.  And, how I've been doing that the same way I used to choose jeans.  All the ones I've done so far have either been "comfortable", convenient or cheap.  (I really did want to do the Women's Half, but I wouldn't have registered if it weren't for friends who were also doing it.)  I have registered for the Rock N' Roll Mardis Gras Half Marathon and I am looking forward to it VERY MUCH.  But, that race is about the location (NOLA), and the hype (Rock N' Roll series)....certainly NOT about the race or the course.  ((just like I used to buy jeans based on comfort and price not how they fit ME.))

I have a couple of races in my cross hairs I think will be a good fit for me--McKay Hollow Madness and Iron Girl Atlanta.   But, as I start the search for my first marathon, I'm trying to seriously consider what I'm looking for.  Just like when Speedy went looking for jeans, she knew the exact features she was looking for (not only size, but wash, pocket style, rise length, waistband, etc...), I am trying to develop a list of features I want in a marathon. 

I think I'll take my time on this decision because, unlike jeans, I will ALWAYS remember my first marathon.

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon.

(*By the way, "Mom" is not really my mother, but it's another runner's's a long story I won't ever tell here!)


  1. If I may, I'll give a sales pitch for Rocket City Marathon. I'm no marathon connoisseur, but Rocket City is a VERY good one. I've run four marathons, and three of them were Rocket City. Sure, there are more scenic marathons. Sure there are flatter, faster marathons (though RCM is flat and fast). You'll also find marathons with more crowd support. You certainly can find a bigger marathon. There are marathons with better swag in the packet.

    However, when it comes to the special feeling that only comes from crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles, I can't imagine a marathon that does that better than Rocket City. There isn't a better race director in the world! The runner to volunteer ratio is nearly 1.5 to 1.

    I guess I'm saying don't rule out Rocket City just because it's close and cheap. It may be the best fitting one out there. I can't imagine another marathon replacing it as my favorite to recommend for a first time.

  2. Well thanks for those nice words you said!

    I ran the Mardi Gras back before it was in the Rock-in-Roll Series. It is a great race, and I remember doing well there. Flat with plenty of great stuff to see.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!


Don't hold back, tell it like it is....