I want to thank you, Pearl Izumi running shoes, for being the best pair of running shoes I've ever owned. Finally, after nine wonderful years, I have to retire you as you're simply falling apart.

Writing about shoes? You've got to be kidding. Well, if you understood where I was before these shoes, you might understand. 9 years ago, I was dealing with IT band issues that I just couldn't shake. I spent a few years sidelined, unable to run. Nothing worked, from Physical Therapy, to Chiropractic, Message Therapy, Accupuncture, Yoga, Ibuprofen, foam rollers. Nothing. I always had a mild ache on the outside of my right knee for years.

I read "Born to Run" many years ago, and though I never became a bare foot runner, it did relieve me of the assumption that I had to have a new pair of shoes every few months, or else! I knew the "or else", I was well in tune with my body after so much IT band struggle. I just kept using my Pearl Izumis, noticing that I didn't have any pain, year after year, run after run.

Along the way I set PRs in every single distance that I run - 1 mile, 5k, 10k, 10 mile, half-marathon, half-ironman, snowy sub-zero runs through the city, trail races of all kinds of distance throughout Colorado, track workouts, and now a 50k through the desert.

Even though they have very little sole left, and have rips and tears everywhere, I know what to expect. I know that I'll never have any IT pain, that I won't blister no matter the distance. They have no sole, but much soul.

Thanks for 9 years of running, Pearl Izumis, you were the best pair of running shoes I'll ever have.

"I got you, you got me."