After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Matter of Conscience

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Sometimes running leads us in unexpected directions and that is the story of my running. Last December I was selected to be a member of the Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team for 2016.

Now I have never been really known for my brand loyalty, but I was running great in Pearl Izumi's EM line of running shoes and their running clothes are some of the best I have ever used. So sending in my application was a no-brainer, being accepted was a huge honor and thrill.

My experiences as a member of the Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team were all great and I got to meet a lot of fantastic people through the program. I had finished 3 of the 5 required races in PI gear and had quite a few other races lined up that I would be wearing the PI colors. I was active on social media per their guidelines, so things were going along really well.

Hell I didn't run in anything else but Pearl Izumi shoes right up until May and then it was only because I didn't believe that the N0's were what I was looking for in a racing flat. As I explained in my What Happened to My Brand Loyalty post.

After making the choice to buy the LT3's, yes, it bothered my conscience a bit that my primary racing flat was Nike and yet I was a member of the Pearl Izumi Run Champions Team. I resolved that one by some mental gymnastics and writing about it, but still it bothered me.

I may not have had a lot of brand loyalty in the past, but I do have principles that I believe in and I was getting too close to crossing a line that I was not comfortable with.

If you are representing a brand, you use that brand's gear and believe in it 100%.

Then when I injured my Achilles/heel area a little while ago, it seemed as though the more I wore my PI's the worse the leg felt, even when I was just walking around. Not a good thing and when I experimented with other shoes that I had laying around, it seemed that after wearing my Nike LunarGlide 5's for walking around, that the leg started to quickly improve.

When I went back to when I really injured my Achilles in 2013, reread a bunch of my blog posts and remembered that I had gone through the rehab process with a higher drop shoe for the first few months back to running. Which caused me to think a lot about what I should/would be wearing to get back on the roads again.

I had pretty much made my mind up about what I was going to do, but doing that was going to cross the line that my principles were not going accept as being okay. Which meant that I was going to have to make a choice and not the one that I really wanted to make regarding being a member of Pearl Izumi Run Champions team.

I resigned from the PI team on Thursday morning and got confirmation that afternoon.

Yeah, something that I had wanted for so long, I had walked away from voluntarily.

All indicators were that I would not be running in PI shoes for a while, which meant that my conscience and principles wouldn't let me simply coast along belonging to a brand's team, while I was rehabbing in a different brand's shoes.

Just not who I am or the direction I will go in.

On Friday morning my leg was feeling pretty good, so I decided to do a mile run in my PI M3's...lots of cushioning, a little motion control and a history of running well in them. It was a test to see if they were part of the solution or not. By the end of the mile, whatever is going on in my left leg began to bother in all its glory. Not what I wanted or needed.

That mile run confirmed what I had been thinking. I run really well in PI shoes, until my Achilles area begins to bother, but once that happens all bets are off and I need to do my rehabbing in something else. Not very scientific and is based on feeling more than facts maybe, but if it is what I believe then it is my reality.

Which meant that I was going to look very closely at the Nike Lunar Glide 7's while we were in North Conway and when I did, I bought them without my conscience bothering me at all.

The reality is that

I loved being a member of the PI Champions Run Team and could have gotten around using a pair of Nike's as my racing flats and still remained on the team. Because racing flats are such a specialty style of shoe that they are very runner specific in my experience and not all racing flats will work the way that I want for me.

However, using something else for my rehab too, was just too much for my conscience and I needed to leave the team.

I know that many runners would have simply shut up done the rehab and then started running back in PI's when they were healthy again. Yeah, I could have done that, but it just didn't feel right to me and I could not do it.

So this is also my official notification on my blog that I am no longer a member of the Pearl Izumi Champions Run Team.

However, I still love Pearl Izumi's running shoes and gear, and know that I will have them back in my rotation when I get this damn leg back to my normal.

Hell, I still like and believe in PI gear so much that I  went to the PI Factory Outlet Store and bought socks and shorts - after I bought the LG 7's. So my decision had nothing to do with the quality of the gear, shoes or how I was treated while on the PI team, it had everything to do with my screwed up leg and my conscience.

In other words it was the right thing to do for the right reasons. Sometimes it is not what you want to do, but is what you have to do.

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