Tuesday, December 20, 2016

21 Days of Inspiration and Motivation - Day 20 with Ed Ettinghausen

Yes You Can

“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it.”

Can you complete a 26.2 mile marathon?

Can you do it . . .  right now?

If you are currently a marathoner, your answer, of course, would be yes. That’s a no brainer. On the other hand, if you’ve never ran a marathon in your life, the logical answer would have to be – no! 

Not right now - and certainly not without the proper training. Right?

Well . . .
I’m here to convince you - YES YOU CAN! 
Right here! 
Right now! 
Even without the proper training. I guarantee it!

We’ll come back to that a little later. For now, let me tell you a little about myself and then you’ll understand how I can make such a preposterous statement with such confidence.

When I was eight months old, I was removed from my mother’s care, due to neglect, and placed into foster care, where I spent the rest of my childhood. Definitely not the ideal way to grow up, but you learn to deal with the hand that’s dealt you.

When I was 17 years old, I trained for a marathon by reading running magazines and books. In my senior year of high school (1980), I completed my first 26.2 mile marathon. I was hooked! 

In the next nine months, I completed four more, with a PR of 3:01:18.

For the next phase of my life, I focused on the priorities of any normal red-blooded 18 year old - college, then marriage, then career, then kids, then the white picket fence, etc. There was no time in my life for running, and certainly no time for running marathons.

A few years after my third child was born, I decided it was time to dust off the ol’ running shoes and revisit my long dormant passion for marathons, after a 13 year hiatus. By this time, I was 31. So I signed up for the 1994 Los Angeles Marathon and proceeded to train. 

And wow, did I train? I showed up race day fully prepared to run 26.2 miles. My complete marathon prep consisted of three long-ish runs, totaling about 30 miles! 

It was a great race, from the start through mile one . . .

And it was not so great of a race from mile one through mile two . . .

And by mile three, my knees were killing me! So I stopped running, turned around, did the walk of shame back to my car - through the oncoming stampede of nearly 20,000 marathon runners and walkers, and drove home. 

So for the second time in my very short running career, I retired from running marathons. I was certain that my knees were ruined, at the ripe old age of 31 . . .

Fast forward 14 years to 2008. That year marked the culmination of some severe financial losses, which caused my bi-polar condition to tilt to the dark side. In an attempt to claw my way out of that black hole, I started walking on a daily basis. Then I started to run. A little bit at first, then a little bit more, until before long, I was actually able to string a few miles together. 

In the Spring of 2009, almost 28 years to the day after I ran across my last marathon finish line, I completed the Pasadena Marathon, in under four hours. A month later, I did another one, and then another. 

Two weeks later, I discovered the 100 mile race. I was once again bit by the running bug, and morphed into a ultra-running fool!

Since then, I have been blessed with some really amazing running experiences.
- Over 200 marathons.
- Over 150 ultra-marathons.
- Men’s world record for most marathon races in one year in 2011 – 135. (That record was decimated by Larry Macon in 2013 – with 255). 
- Men’s world record for most 100(+) mile races in one year in 2014 – 41.
- American men’s 50-54 record for 1,000 kilometers – 8 days and some change.
- American men’s 50-54 record for 10-day race – 717 miles.
- Six consecutive Badwater 135 official finishes.
- 126 lifetime races of 100 or more miles, including many 24, 48, 72, and 6-day races, and one very long 10-day race.
- 28 overall wins for 100 mile or longer races.
- 22 - 2nd place finishes for 100 mile or longer races.
- 13 - 3rd place finishes for 100 mile or longer races.
- More 100 mile podium finishes than anyone else in history - 63.
- Multiple course records.
- Nominated for Marathon Maniacs Hall of Fame 2016 - the only person to ever reach and surpass the 99 x 100 mile race MM Hall of Fame criteria. 
- By the end of 2017, I will have completed over 140 races of 100 miles or longer - more 100 mile races than anyone else in history. 

Okay, so now back to that audacious guarantee I made earlier about anyone being able to run a marathon without any training.If you and I met at a local park tomorrow, and I asked you -

“Could you walk or run 26.2 miles, non-stop, in under 12 hours?” 

What would your answer be? 

If you answered no, that we make perfect sense, but what if I modified the question by including just five additional words -
“Could you walk or run 26.2 miles, non-stop, in under 12 hours . . .
IF I PAID YOU $1,000,000!?!

Would you then be able to walk or run 26.2 miles, non-stop, in 12 hours or less?”

Unless you’re already a multi-millionaire – who could resist a million dollar offer, for 12 hours worth of work, simple putting one foot in front of the other (besides President-elect Donald Trump, and a few of his billionaire buddies). 

Would you then be able to walk or run 26.2 miles, non-stop, in 12 hours or less?”

Unless you’re already a multi-millionaire – who could resist a million dollar offer, for 12 hours worth of work, simple putting one foot in front of the other (besides President-elect Donald Trump, and a few of his billionaire buddies). 

So I’m betting that your answer to that question would be a resounding, unequivocal - YES!

Well, sorry to disappoint you after that huge build up, but I don’t have a cool million dollars idly lying around the house to offer you. (Besides that, I barely even know you.) But as a running coach, I do have the next best thing. A free marathon training program for first time marathoners for the upcoming L. A. Marathon on 3/19/2017.

What’s the catch? 

There is no catch! 

Once a year I design a free group coaching program to Pay It Forward for the many wonderful blessings that the running community has brought into my life. Last year I set up a free group coaching program for six first time 100 milers – it was called ‘ZERO to 100 Mile HERO in 200 Days!’ Five individuals completed the training, and all five crossed the finish line at their first 100 mile race in Santa Monica on 10/15/15. 

So, do you have what it takes to take me up on my marathon challenge?

Send me a private message on Facebook, and I’ll add you to our private L. A. Marathon daily group training program. There are currently 11 in the group. We’d love to have you join us. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RunJesterRun/

For every person in my L. A. Marathon training group that shows up to the start line on 3/19/17, I will find you on the course - after I finish the marathon myself – and personally escort you back to the finish line.

And Jest in case you’re not sure if there’s enough time to train for the 2017 L.A. Marathon, let me assure you – there is! There is exactly 89 days between 12/20/16 and 3/19/17. That’s plenty of time to get you marathon ready, even if you’re currently a sedentary couch potato, who gets winded walking from the car to the couch. 

If you can put one foot in front of the other for one mile, in 20 minutes or less, I can train you to complete the L. A. Marathon on 3/19/17 – guaranteed! But it will take a major commitment on your part, and some hard work. Remember, every worthwhile accomplishment in life takes work. But it’s so worth it in the end. And we’ll make it fun!
Training for a marathon is simple, but it’s not easy. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it! Did you know that less than 1% of American adults will ever complete a single marathon during their lifetime? It’s true! So accept the challenge and become a one percenter! 
Come join us for a 26.2 mile adventure from the Los Angeles Dodger’s Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. But fair warning – you might just get bit by the marathon bug, and decide to break some or your own personal records, or American records, or even World records.
REALize Your UP – Ultimate Potential – Each and Every Day!
Dream B I G !
Believe B I G G E R !!
Passionately Pursue Your I’mPOSSIBLE!!!

UPward & ONward . . .
-Ed Ettinghausen-

For more information message me at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RunJesterRun/  


  1. That's very inspiring, you're sooo Awesome Ed Jester Man :) I wish I could be trained by you!

  2. Isabelle -

    YES YOU CAN . . . be trained by me!

    I see that you are currently an active marathoner, but if you're interested in taking your running to the next level, including ultra-distance races - in particularly 100 mile or longer races - or if you're interest is in lowering your marathon times to a newer, faster PR, I can help you with that, as a running coach.

    My free coaching program I mentioned in the post above is for the first time marathoner, and is a group training program, but if you are interested in one-to-one coaching, please contact me, and we can discuss how my coaching can take your running to the next level, and help you REALize your UP - Ultimate Potential - in running.

    Dream B I G !
    Believe B I G G E R !!
    Passionately Pursue Your I'mPOSSIBLE!!!

    UPward & ONward . . .