The (Not So) Raging Bull plus the INKnBURN Winner

And the winner is...

I picked a random comment from the 35 that were submitted on the INKnBURN Giveaway post and the winner of the arm sleeves is lucky number 7 (I'll spare you the screen capture from So, Matt, please email me and I'll put you in touch with the nice people at INKnBURN.

The running is going great. It's starting to get harder with more volume and some tough tempo work, but that can be fun, too. Part of the fun has been mixing it up, altering the workouts a bit, and letting others share in the pain. I ran an interval session Wednesday morning with the San Elijo group, and as the "anyone running?" email got tossed around the night before, I mentioned I needed to do some speed work and they could join in if they wanted. We set out at 6 AM and after a 15 minute warm-up, which I took really easy, trailing the others because I knew the workout and they didn't, we set out on 15 sets of 1 minute at 6:45 to 7:00 pace followed by 2 minutes at 7:30 pace. Not slow enough to recover fully, so by the end I was suffering a little. In the past, I would have saved this run for a flat, coastal stretch and tried to dial in the paces to the exact second. Instead, we stuck to one of our normal trail routes and I went by feel instead of pace. I didn't have a Garmin on, but I did keep track of the time, and judging by the usual time it takes us to do this loop, I'm pretty sure we hit the paces, probably a little slower on the uphills, but making up for it on the flats and downhills. It was a tough session, but the terrain made it much more fun that a flat stretch of road, and the shared suffering always helps.

I was also supposed to do a core workout after the run, so instead of the usual planks/push-ups/pull-ups/weights, I wrapped my hands and went to the garage to hit the heavy bag. There really is no other feeling like hitting something hard, and it had been a while since I had hit the bag. It felt great. I set my timer for one minute, and would alternate between hitting the bag for a minute and doing other exercises for a minute (planks, one-legged jumprope, pull-ups, pistol squats and Romanian deadlifts). The whole workout lasted about ten minutes, but it was a really good one, and it was a lot of fun. I was messing around with my camera and shot some video of the bag work (my form is terrible and my garage is a mess, so save the comments. I'm a wimpy runner, not a MMArtist). I call it the "(Not So) Raging Bull Core Workout."

I just finished reading the first chapter of Killian's book translated into English and his Skyrunner Manifesto is so good (I'm not sure if he wrote it, or someone else did, so I'm not sure who to credit). If you have a few minutes, it's a great read. This was my favorite part...

The secret is not in the legs. It is to find enough courage to go out and run when it's raining, windy, when it's snowing. When flashes of lightning hit the trees. When snowballs or ice rain hit your legs, your body and make you cry. To continue, you have to dry the tears from your face to be able to see the stones, the obstacles, the sky. Forget some hours of party, face tens of reproaches, say no to a girl, to the warmth of the blanket covering your face...send everything to hell and go out in the rain until your legs bleed after having fallen down and risen again to keep running up...until your legs shout: ENOUGH! And leave you alone in the middle of a storm in unknown mountains...until death.
Yeah, my wife is probably not going to like that last part.

What's great about running is that everyone has access to this feeling. I can't dunk a basketball, hit a home run, or throw a 70 yard pass for a touchdown, but I can push myself as hard as I can for as long as I can, and experience the same thrill of running down a steep, rocky trail, and the same rush from running up mountains that Killian describes, albeit at a much slower pace. All runners can feel that, and it has nothing to do with pace, it has to do with pushing your own limits, finding a new trail, getting lost, and occasionally breaking down and crying from the pain, the torture, and the beauty that comes when you reach that limit.

Thanks for reading.

INKnBURN Review and Giveaway

The first time I saw an INKnBURN shirt, it was on the back of the super fast Jon Clark flying up the Harding Truck Trail on his way to a first to the top cash prize at the Harding Hustle 30k. The skull and flames design fit the shaved head and tattooed arms and shoulders, and it was a look that I didn't think I could pull off. Most of the people I see at races sporting INKnBURN gear are pretty fast, so I always wondered if their clothing had some super magical cool powers that bestowed an extra boost of speed to the wearer.

I tend to wear the same shade of black shirts and black shorts over and over again, much to the dismay of those surrounding me and of the lady that stood in line behind me at the coffee shop. If I'm feeling extra crazy I'll don a light shade of grey shorts, but still dark enough to camouflage any bladder mishaps, and if I really want to mix it up I'll break out the darkish green wool party shirt.

I was a little apprehensive when Keira Henninger emailed and asked me to try out some INKnBURN gear. For one, I'm not cool enough to pull off an outfit, and for two, I'm not fast enough to wear skulls/flames. But I really couldn't say no to Keira. I ran with her for a short time at my first 50K a few years ago, and while she probably doesn't remember it, I thought she was pretty nice. If you read her blog, you know she is relentlessly positive. Seriously, if you are ever in a bad mood, go check out her blog (and then ask her to sell you some of her happy pills). I also wanted to see if the INKnBURN juju would rub off on me, so I told her sure, I'd love to try out some INKnBURN gear.

I picked out a relatively subtle black and white koi sexy asian woman pattern called "Lust" and when it arrived I was really impressed with the design. I tried it on and I immediately felt different, my beard and hair started to grow, my muscles and veins started to tighten and dare I say...bulge. I looked in the mirror and...

When Alexander Bell invented the telephone he had 3 missed calls from Chuck Norris (joke courtesy 2005)
I then went for a run, and while I wasn't faster, a funny thing happened, the Earth's rotation slowed.

Not really, but the shorts are super comfortable and light. They have that crepe paper feel and I imagine they will be awesome for hot summer runs. They run a little small...I usually wear a large, but the INKnBURN XL fits me perfectly.

The true test was when I walked downstairs before my morning run and my ten year old daughter said "nice shorts" (instead of the slight left eye twitch she usually gets when she sees me wearing my old running clothes). My five year old also got in on the action:

"I like the fish on your shorts."

"Thanks Kaya."

"Where did you get them?"

"The mail."

"Who sent them to you?"

"A company that makes running clothes."

"What company?"


And thus began a ten minute circular question and answer session that ended, inevitably, with "because that's what God commanded."

Bottom line is the shorts are stylish, super comfortable, light, and the design looks cool and appeals to the kids. The shirt is great as well. It's a lightweight running shirt and the design is sublimated (which means it's part of the fabric and doesn't feel like a thick layer of plastic that will melt into your skin on a hot day) and I like the design. It's nice to mix it up once in awhile, and while everyone says not to try anything new on race day, I like to break that rule once in awhile because sometimes a new shirt or new shorts can make you feel good and when you feel good you run faster. So yes, it's a scientific fact that INKnBURN gear can make you run faster.

Now for the free stuff. Check out their cool arm sleeves, 4Arms. Want some? This is what you need to do:
  1. Go to their Facebook page and press "Like." And if your significant other walks in on you checking out pictures of their models, just tell them you're doing "research" for a "blog post."
  2. Leave a comment below and let me know that you did number one (and like I tell my kids, if you did number two, I don't really want to hear about it).
I'll pick a winner next week.

Thanks for reading.

Ratings and Recommendations