Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Random running-related annoyances

Today when I logged on to Facebook two things stuck out and immediately annoyed me.

Here is one them:

See that blue in the upper left hand corner? Yeah, that's the coldest spot in the country and it's smack dab on top of where I live in Seattle. It actually is sunny, in this exact moment in time, though that is subject to change in any given second. Oh, yep, as soon as I finished that sentence the clouds moved in.

The thing about the weather, and local folks this is a tip from me to you, is that if I am scheduled to be running on any given day, the weather is going to suck. Rain, hail, wind, freezing cold, maybe even some snow. If I am off or doing a workout inside? Then it will be sunny and dry. So forgo the weather person and just hit me up to find out what my workout is and it will give you a clear picture of Seattle weather. So today is a rest day for me. It is sunny outside. Tomorrow I have outdoor bootcamp. It will probably be hailing frogs.

The other thing that annoyed me when I logged on to Facebook was seeing that a friend posted a daily deal for the Hero's Half Marathon in Everett. This is going to be the first half marathon I run and is at the end of April. I signed up two months ago and paid $65 for the race. Today's deal is $30 to sign up. Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed that I paid $35 more despite being a good little runner and signing up nice and early. I emailed the race organizers and expressed my frustration with the offer, stating that it felt like I was getting penalized for signing up early and that this rash of race deals on daily deal sites is making me feel like not signing up for ANY races until a deal come out! I received an email back within an hour from someone who works for the race and she said "don't blame you" and that they felt pressured to take part in the deal in order to increase their race numbers and they won't be doing it again. She also said she would refund me the difference, which I thought was kind since I didn't ask for a refund.

It immediately got me thinking . . . what is the deal with daily deal sites? This person could have emailed me and said "oh, sorry you missed out! This was such a good opportunity for us to attract more runners, but we don't want to leave you out. Here is a free Starbucks coupon to say sorry!" Instead she seemed, well, just as annoyed as I did.

Last week another daily deal site ran a deal for the Seattle Half Marathon. I bought that, even though I wasn't originally planning on running the Seattle Half. When the code from the daily deal site didn't work to register me I emailed the Seattle Half Marathon and asked what was up. They responded that they didn't know the daily deal site had already run the deal and they were working on the problem. Very interesting.

Last summer I bought an impossibly good deal for yoga classes at the yoga studio I liked and had previously taken classes at. It is a tiny place and I loved the owner. I almost felt dirty buying-- and using-- the deal. The studio made pretty  much nothing on it. However, I knew the studio chose to run the deal and if they made no money, that was their choice, right? Now I have to wonder, though, how these deal sites work. Are businesses getting pressured on some level? How? Why? This yoga studio hoped it would bring in more business, I know that for sure, but as it turned out, the vast majority of people never returned after the voucher was used up.

So, anyways, I have to apologize up front to anyone who registered for Hero's Half today. Since it is a planned running day for me you know the weather is going to completely stink.

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