Shoe salesman with an agenda and other things

Okay, I’ll try to keep this in nuggets because I feel like I have a lot of nothing to say. …

Triathlon training update:

= Swim: So, I found out my friend Sally used to be a swim coach. Told you about that the other day when I mentioned our relay team. She had me over the other day to swim in her pool and gave me good tips about how to correct form. She’s nice enough to only hand out a couple of tips at a time so I don’t forget! I already feel more comfortable in the water. I’m going to start going over there once a week to practice and to watch her baby while she practices for our relay.

= Bike: Kevin and I cycled the course of the Tri at Baxter in Fort Mill on Sunday. It was a good challenge but definitely doable. I’m still slow on the bike. And the last part of the course is a lot of uphill. Hard to imagine running after! I’ll keep practicing.

= Run: Still doing my thing with running. My tri training program officially started this week, and the 5K training portion of that incorporates speedwork. More intervals, more hill runs. For the triathlon, my goal will be just to survive the run. But I’m thinking ahead to the July tri where I’m doing the run relay portion. Also, marathon training starts next month! I’ve decided I love distance running the most. So I’m super-excited about that.

I have until the end of the month to sign up for the tri before the next price jump. Will keep practicing, but as long as all goes well between now and then, I’m in!

Running a 5K while stressed

Last week I ran the Twilight Moves for Youth 5K. There were about 3,000 runners there. I’d had a stressful day anyway, and upon arrival my stress level went through the roof. I joked to Jeff and Scott that I felt like I was wearing an invisibility cloak as people kept walking right into me. Lines were long to get what we needed, walking to the bathroom was a madhouse, and I got thrown off my game by a shoe salesman* with an agenda.

Bottom line: Race started, first two miles were pretty much all downhill (awesome!) but the crowds were still crazy and I was still carrying the stress with me. I ended up with the worst race time I’ve had in more than a year. It should have been much better. Stress really can mess you up. I have to learn how to not let things affect me.

*Shoe salesman with an agenda

So, I shop at TrySports. The whole world likely knows that by now, as I’m constantly talking about how awesome they are. However, they aren’t the only running store in town. There are a few others, one in particular I’ll call “R.”

I shopped at R twice for running shoes, before TrySports opened up a few years ago. The difference between the two stores is small – R is a running store, TrySports is a triathlon store. R has a “fitting” process similar to TrySports in that they watch you run and make a recommendation.

Some differences:
= TrySports actually has a software program to measure angles with knees, ankles, hips, etc (I won’t pretend to really understand it), and their fit process is two-fold. They eyeball it, and they measure it. R only eyeballs it. TrySports just goes that extra mile (no pun intended) – and I’ve been told by them to do a variety of tests while shoe shopping – including wearing different socks, wearing different shoes (one on each foot), standing on my head (okay, not literally – but they do cover everything).
= TrySports has a larger selection of tri gear. Even though I’m just now getting into triathlons, I have always felt that they have a better selection of clothes and other exercise goodies.
= I just had the right feeling when I found TrySports. Kinda like meeting “the one.” You just know. Okay, not really like meeting the one. But I still like the store and the people a lot.

So, I was wearing my Mizunos with my Yankz the other day before the race, and the Yankz have a very prominent “TrySports” logo on them. I’m lazy and don’t want to go get the camera to show you, so I’m going to post a pic of my Asics which have the same Yankz and logo, just so you’ll see how prominent it is:

So, I stopped by the R tent to ask a question (completely unrelated to any shoewear.) Keep in mind this was at 6:40 p.m. and the race started at 7 p.m. When I asked said random question, I was asked for my bib number. I explained that I did not have my bib number yet because I had not yet found my friend who had registered me. Yes, 2o minutes before race time and I still hadn’t found my friend. So yeah, I was a little stressed. …

So, amid trying to help me with said question, the R employee picked up a scrap piece of paper to write down some information. The scrap piece of paper happened to be a $10 off a pair of shoes coupon for the R store. He then looked down at my shoes. Took a hard look.  A close look. Then said, “looks like you’re in need of new shoes.” (True. I am.) Then said, “Those are clearly not the right shoes for you. You were not fitted for them were you?”

I looked at him in shock and answered, “Yeah, I was.” Knowing he’d seen the TrySports logo – he clearly already knew the answer to that. And given that I was standing still and not running or even walking – I’m fairly certain he had no way to know whether those were the right shoes or not!

He then had me walk up and down the expo floor while he could look at me and assess what type of shoe I would need. Twenty minutes before race time and this dude is telling me I’m in the wrong shoes. He knows I need to find my bib number and he’s making me walk the floor.

Not cool. So not cool.

He wrote me a note saying I could get free socks in addition to my $10 off shoes. Not worth it.

Sure, I’m biased. I love TrySports. But I don’t think you throw your competitor under the bus like that. You know what? He could be right. I was fitted for those shoes right before the marathon. I’m running differently right now, I’m sure. Maybe I do need different shoes. But I’ll let TrySports tell me that. Not some guy with a marketing agenda.

Ok, I’ve rambled enough for today. More tomorrow!


10 responses to “Shoe salesman with an agenda and other things”

  1. Chris Avatar

    Kinda shitty of the “R” guy to do that, especially right before a race. I’ll vouch for the quality of fitting at TrySports though; they do a good job. But you’re right, at least be respectful of your competitors. While “R” might’ve been an option before, now they’re clearly not.

    This kinda reminds me of the different religious denominations, all vying for your business (yes, business).

  2. Wes Avatar

    Thanks for the link to Try Sports. Now that I know where it is, I’ll have to pay them a visit.

    It was kinda shitty how that rep treated you. Very lame.

    Like the shoes. They look like my Wave Inspire 5’s….but girly. I like them so much they’re my daily shoes. At least until I can afford another pair.

    And good luck with the training. Just getting in 5k shape is brutal, I can’t imagine training for a triathlon.
    .-= Wes´s last blog ..Talking shop =-.

  3. Melissa Avatar

    I forgot to mention after all the walking and telling me I was in the wrong shoes, he concluded with “Have a great race!” Yeah, thanks buddy.

    Reminds me of when Chris took me to his running dr for an assessment. The doc refused to do it because I was one day away from a half marathon. He said if I WAS in the wrong shoes he didn’t want to tell me the day before a half marathon, because he did not want to throw me off my game. I see now more than ever why that was a really good thing.

    Wes, tell trysports I sent you – they’ll give me a coupon!

  4. beth Avatar

    wow, poor timing on his part. and granted I do not know what question you were asking, but unless it was related to the shoes giving you some kind of problem, the most comfortable shoes for you probably don’t have to be technically correct, you know what I mean? any day without aches and pain is good by me.
    .-= beth´s last blog ..little houses made of ticky tacky =-.

  5. Melissa Avatar

    Nope, not related to the shoes at all! I didn’t mention the question because it would officially give away the identity of the store, but it was completely not shoe related. Or even related to me purchasing anything from them …

  6. urbanvox Avatar

    a not so hidden at all agenda if I ever saw one…
    u sure he wasn’t looking at your5 ass while you walked??? 🙂

  7. urbanvox Avatar

    ummmm… there wasc something else… but I forgot… 🙂
    .-= urbanvox´s last blog ..Stop The Press! =-.

  8. Kevin Avatar

    So not cool. I too have had an issue with “R” and will never go back. They tried to charge a freakin’ restocking fee 4 hours after I bought a pair of shoes from them when I saw them cheaper at another store (no they won’t price match either).

    For the record, I went to TrySports yesterday for a new pair of shoes and told them about the problems with “R”. And of course, Jenn just laughed it off because they are always cool at TrySports!

    Oh, and why the anonymity, Melissa? Go ahead and announce the dislikefor “R” so no one else makes the mistake of shopping there! Obviously I don’t like them…

  9. Sweigart Avatar

    Melissa, I have but one complaint/request and it goes along with Kevins last line… If you truly dont like the company, then please let us know where it is, so that we don’t fall subject to their games as well.
    Because when you like a product/store you tell us the name of them, I also feel this is proper to tell the name of a product/store when you don’t like it.

  10. Melissa Avatar

    Actually, there’s a good reason I didn’t name the company:

    Because I don’t have a problem with the actual company. I was fitted for shoes there twice and had good experiences both times. I just had *better* experiences with TrySports (for the record, the first time I shopped at TrySports they put me in the exact same shoe R had put me in – so the fitting methods did end in the same results.)

    I do have a problem with one guy’s insensitivity. I didn’t think that was proper timing or proper marketing. But do I blame the entire store? Not at all.

    And if you want to know which store not to shop at – simple! If it’s not TrySports, don’t shop there! (In my opinion).

    Seriously, if I had a problem with the company as a whole, I’d gladly name them. Check out my Lulu blog – I had their name all over the place when they screwed me over. I just can’t blame an entire company for one person’s actions.

    Kevin has a problem with the store’s policy – so if he wants to write about it in his blog, more power to him!