Team Pearl iZUMi – The Beginning

When local Pearl iZUMi rep Heather Culig first facebooked me – I guess that’s how this stuff happens – about being a part of Team iZUMi Mountain States for 2012, my first question was,

Um, Heather, have you ever actually looked at my race record? Slow, average, ultra-shufflers don’t get sponsorships.

Then she set me straight.

Although PI does indeed maintain an elite ultrarunning team (Team Pearl iZUMi-Smith – they have their own website and everything), which boasts athletes such as Ashley Nordell and Darcy Africa, this is a different kind of team. I like to call it a ‘community’ team, made up of athletes of a variety of  speeds and abilities.

Alright. I represent the “slow” demographic; the negligible ability. That makes sense.

Heather went on to say, The main thing I am looking for is people persons who just love running!

Well, I do love running. As for being a people person…I try.

According to the Team PI facebook page (Team Pearl Izumi – Mountain States), Team Pearl Izumi is a selective group of competitive runners and triathletes of all ages and abilities who are passionate about training and racing. Team PI strives to build a community of active lifestyle enthusiasts and inspire them to reach their goals.

A stipulation for being on the team is to train and race in the Pearl iZUMi shoes and apparel. No, we don’t get our race entries paid. But we get sweet shoes to try out…and I’ve been liking them a lot.

The first two pairs I’m trying out are both lightweight trainers – the Peak II and the Streak II.

So far, I’ve worn the Peaks on a  50k trail run last Saturday, and today I wore the Streaks on my road run around Lake Lowell.

Streak II

At 7.5 ounces each (for the women’s size 9.5 – the sizing of the Streaks and Peaks is a half size larger than you would normally wear), the Streaks are a very lightweight road trainer, with marginal to no cushioning. I had worn them for 9 miles previously, and based on that experience, I was apprehensive to wear them for a 26 mile run. They are a little sparse in the cushioning department for someone like me who is going to shuffle 12-15 min/miles for nearly six hours. So, I slipped thin gel insoles under the stock insoles, and that felt really good. The fit was still fine. I still don’t get why shoe companies – MOST shoe companies – can’t get the offset lacing thing down. No one wants shoes that lace right over the high part of the foot!

Anyway, after 5:45 and 26 miles, I felt like I had run 26 miles. I’ll be honest – my feet hurt. And so did my hips and back and shoulders and eyeballs. On the plus side, my right arch/ankle, which in recent history has given me problems, did not hurt more than any other time; and it actually felt less strained that in some of my other shoes. So, I would say that the Streaks for a long-long road run were a success, although a shoe with a little more cushion would be slightly more ideal. The next shoes I’m ordering will be the syncroFuel Trail II, a less minimal ‘trail performance light stability’ shoe. I really can’t wait to try it out and am hoping that will be my ‘go all the way’ shoe for the Salt Flats 100 coming up at the end of April.

See you on the trails!

One thought on “Team Pearl iZUMi – The Beginning”

  1. “negligible ability” you’ve got to be kidding me. Seriously, you have so much ability and a potential for so very much more! In this Ultra world, I look up to you in so many ways and appreciate every moment you allow me to spend time running with you, learning and being mentored.

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