Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'd give you the shirt off my back...

Recently I was selected to be an Ambassador for Ink N Burn – a totally rad athletic clothing company out of California.  I feel a deep connection to this company that continues to grow every day.  And I couldn’t be happier to be supporting and promoting them. 

The way I found Ink N Burn was during my quest for the best running skirt.  It’s pretty funny – if you ask any of my friends they will tell you I’m not a “girlie” girl.  I don’t wear makeup or get dressed up unless I’m forced to.  (another reason I feel like I belong in the PNW…)  But now that I have 2 young boys in my house I’m completely outnumbered by boys (3 to 1 counting my husband).  Somehow that’s turned me into a girl who wears skirts to run.  When I put on my first running skirt and did a long training run I knew I’d never go back.  Sure, I wear shorts too, but I always race in a skirt now and I do most of my training runs in skirts.  But it seemed I couldn’t find the RIGHT skirt.  They were either too baggy and unflattering or too fitted and bunched up.  Both are not good when you’re out on the trail for 50-100 miles.  I think I tried 5 or 6 brands of skirts last year.  Ink N Burn was the last one I tried.  I needn’t look any further.  PERFECTION.  The fit is perfect, the design is killer and they are so comfortable I forget I’m wearing them.  And when I learned about the company itself – a small company who hand makes everything and provides the best customer service out there – I was sold.  As I said, couldn’t be happier to be spreading the Ink N Burn love! 

As an Ambassador, I’ve got a SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE that I’m allowed to share with friends – which includes YOU!  All you need to do is set up an account on (go to Login on the top corner) – super easy and it gets you a $10 off credit for spending your minute this way.  Then as you checkout, use ‘JenToldMe’ to get you an additional 15% off your order!  You will love anything you choose… I promise!  If you want some inspiration, read on…

When I came on board with Ink N Burn, they asked me to choose a design that I identify with, something that has special meaning to me.  Care to guess which one I chose?  (answer coming later)  As it turns out, this question is like peeling away the layers of an onion.  I think every day I identify with a different design – and for very different reasons. 

Lately I’ve been coping with a pretty debilitating injury, which has left me mentally and physically frustrated beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my life.  5 months and counting, with no end in sight.  As my hopes rise and fall seeming with the changing tides, I am challenged to stay strong and persevere.  I get conflicting advice from doctors, PTs and therapists and I’m not going to lie, it’s been very hard to keep my faith in myself.  At times I feel like I’m faltering.  Running is so much of who I am and what moves me… it’s very hard to keep believing I’ll get it back, let alone knowing when I will.  My internal struggle has been huge.  The Adversity design really speaks to me right now.  It reminds me to stay strong.  It never always gets worse, right?  Tough as these waves are that keep crashing over my ship, I will persevere.  Adversity is my middle name right now.  And I wear this shirt to remind me to fight.  And fight hard for what I love. 

I also really love the design of the dragonfly tee (and matching skirt).  The dragonfly is such a beautiful creature, and flies faster than another other insect!  On the tee, the dragonfly is perched on your back, as if she is hitching a ride with you as you run.  I definitely like to think my wings are faster than hers!  :)

 So many of the designs strike me even stronger as soon as I see them in person.  The butterfly tee, for example.  I loved the design and had to have it… but when it arrived I was smitten.  The colors are so bright and the design fits along your body in such a way that makes you feel like your arms are wings.  Butterflies migrate long distances like an ultrarunner, and they are seen to bring good luck in many cultures.  Each wing design is so unique, much like our own personalities.  It’s a perfect shirt for race day, and it looks FABULOUS on you. 
With my passion as an ultrarunner, I can’t help but identify with the Gordy tee.  Who doesn’t want to pay homage to the founder of their sport?  Exactly.  And the shirt really looks good – the colors are perfect and complement his image perfectly.  I admit, I’ve actually slept in this shirt hoping for good luck to heal my leg. :)

So which shirt did I pick for Ink N Burn at the beginning?  The Dark Forest Tee.  This design was inspired by a photographer I know who covers all the local races, Glenn Tachiyama.  It reminds me of the wonderful forests we have here in the PNW – the tall trees and the pine needles on the ground.  The winding and climbing trails.  The rare glimpse of sunlight that we see here in the winter.  The rising sun that greets me on a summer trail run as it peeks through the trees.  When I look at this shirt I can honestly smell the forest.  Because I didn’t start trail running until I moved to the PNW, this shirt embodies everything that I love about trail running and the mighty PNW. 

I had an interesting back and forth with a running friend about which shirt he identifies with.  We guessed at which shirt the other would choose.  I admit, I guessed wrong but I got it on the 2nd try!  The Zen philosophy and Buddhism resonates with him strongly.  He is introspective, knows himself and has confidence in himself and is comfortable being alone in the darkness of the mountains in the middle of nowhere.  So the Zen Tech is his pick… and I don’t think I’ll ever see that shirt without thinking of him now.  He and I have only met in person once but we are so much alike it’s scary.  But very cool.  And no surprise he’s been one of my biggest supporters during my injury.  He makes my life better every day and I am truly grateful for his faith in me.

What other company gives you the opportunity to express yourself?  And these are just the shirts! So much of our sport is mental… and what shirt you don in the morning says a lot about what kind of day it’s going to be.  Take charge of your day – wear your true colors!!

I’ll be posting product reviews and answering any questions you have – so please let me know what you’d like to see!  And contact me anytime with questions about any of their products, I’d be more than happy to help! 


  1. The Gordy shirt is a classic! Mend up my friend!

  2. Thanks for the code, Jen. saw the holiday long sleeves at the last two races I have ran and have been trying to find them...met a guy wearing one today and BOOMSAUSE! made an into and he told me about the web site! But all and all Jen told me about the discount and reviews.