In 1997, when I was a struggling young poet (don’t laugh) in San Francisco, I wrote a letter to Dave Eggers, who was then merely a local literary celebrity whose reputation rested on his work as founder and editor of MIGHT magazine and not yet the international literary star he became three years later with the publication of his memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. In the letter, I pitched Dave on the idea of including a poetry page in future issues of MIGHT and commissioning me to serve as the magazine’s poetry editor.
To my mild surprise, Dave wrote back and said he was open to the idea. This led to a phone call, during which we developed the idea further. MIGHT folded soon afterward, though, and that was the end of that.
Later, when Dave was an international literary star, I read an interview in which he explained that he had a policy of always trying to say “yes” when somebody asked something of him. It was part of his personal code of ethics to help out and lift up others when he could, a principle that was based on a karmic sort of belief that spreading the wealth did not diminish but rather increased his own (metaphorical) wealth. In other words, Dave has what’s known as an abundance mindset, and it explains why he said “yes” when I pitched my stupid poetry idea to him.
Dave’s words resonated with me because I, too, try to say “yes” to everything. For me, it seems only right, because (as the story I just shared demonstrates) I ask other people for things all the time. And so it was that, when a runner named Jake Tuber contacted me in the summer of 2017 to ask if I would be willing to coach him pro bono in support of a fundraising challenge, I said, “No.”
Just kidding. Actually, I said, “Not right now,” because at the time I had my hands full with my own project, which entailed living the life of a professional runner with the Northern Arizona Elite team in Flagstaff. I asked Jake to circle back with me in October, when I was home again in California, and he did so, and I coached him for the next several months.
During this period and beyond, Jake and I talked a lot about my “fake pro runner” experience, as I like to call it. He was enamored of the whole idea, and wondered if there might be a way to enable other amateur runners to experience something like it—some sort of next-level running camp. I told Jake I would gladly involve myself in anything he cooked up, and then he sort of disappeared for a while.
Turns out he did so for a very good reason: because he was busy cooking! The result of all that hard behind-the-scenes groundwork is Endeavorun, the world’s first start-to-finish, comprehensive running program that enables everyday runners to experience a professional-style training season like I did with NAZ Elite in 2017. Endeavorun 2020 kicks off next July with a five-day, four-night retreat in Eugene, Oregon (a.k.a. Tracktown USA). There you will meet, run with, and learn from me and other top experts, including current top professional runners and a sports dietitian.
But that’s just the beginning. During the camp you will sit down with me or another coach for a one-on-one consultation to review the custom training plan we’ve built for you. Tailored to your schedule, goals, and abilities and delivered through a free account on TrainingPeaks, this plan will culminate with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas event (with 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon race options) in November, where Endeavorun athletes will reconvene for a VIP experience that includes race entry, hotel stay, sponsor perks, and an after-race party.
And that’s not all. Between the camp in Eugene and the race in Las Vegas, the Endeavorun experience will continue online through live virtual coaching, accountability partner check-ins, virtual team workouts, massive discounts from premiere partners (just like the pros get), and more. There’s nothing else like it out there, and I encourage every runner who has fantasized about what it would be like to go all the way with their running to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
I’m pleased to be able to offer a VIP early-bird discount to members of the 80/20 Endurance community. Just use this link to visit the Endeavorun website and learn more about the program, then enter coupon code 8020ENDURANCE to get 15% off the cost of registration and a free pair of running shoes of your choice, which will be waiting for you at our Kickoff Retreat. We’re capping registration at 120 runners, so act soon to avoid missing out on your chance to train like a pro in 2020!