Run Brett Run: Zappos Full Marathon Preparation

With Zappos.com sponsoring this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon, many of our employees are preparing to participate in the event. Last week we spoke to some of the people doing the half marathon, so this week we decided to go around and talk to some of the people planning to run the full marathon.

No matter if your a seasoned runner, or just someone wanting to challenge yourself, the Las Vegas full or half marathon is a great way to get out and work on those fitness goals. Here are some of our Zappos employees talking about their training so far.

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Running Events All Over the Globe: The Leatherman's Loop

Countless road races dot the American landscape each weekend, with runners following painted arrows from school parking lots through city streets or flagged meadows in local parks. Most offer a distinct challenge: make the individual push harder than before while offering enjoyment and lifelong fitness. Regardless of the distance, whether a spirited 5k or a marathon, the race gives the runner a blank canvas upon which to become something greater.

However, not all races are created equal, nor provide the same challenges. Yes, the goal remains the same in regards to a person proving something to himself, but the experience varies, and no one place gives a more creative, unpredictable run than the Leatherman’s Loop.

The race, a 10k trail run held annually in April at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, New York, is a massively popular event, with the 900 spots filling up in a mere 16 hours. Combining all that Mother Nature can dish out, the terrain houses mud bogs, deep streams with moss-slicked rocks, steep sand hills, and paths barely wide enough for both feet side by side. Although the budding tree canopy can provide some protection, the pounding sun, which recently reached a record high of 90 degrees on race day, can sap your energy, and the punishing wind can make the race double in its perceived distance. Needless to say, the race is physically abusive. It is one of those workouts that will have you hating it while you’re doing it, but loving it when it is all over.

The atmosphere, one that is as supportive as it is fun, more than washes out the agony the race can bring. Runners can be found all across the course pulling others along, un-sticking them from the mud or pushing them up the hills. The sense of camaraderie bubbles over the second you arrive, as runners share advice, trade stories of duct-taped shoes and pricker-torn legs, and promise to meet for a drink at the finish line. No one feels alone on this day, with each person’s success seemingly everyone’s concern.

Regardless of your ability, take the chance and go. Train hard and enjoy the race that has the potential to keep you coming back for more. Not only will you have accomplished something physically impressive, but also you will have proved to yourself that almost anything is possible.

Run Brett Run: Magic Shoes

OK, OK, I know that I promised to limit the Forrest Gump references. I’ll keep that mind…but I do know what love is. Oops….sorry, sorry, it’s a habit, it’s a habit.

I’ve received some cool running shoes from our Vendors and Merchandising Department since my training for the marathon began, and this week was no exception. Rockport, a fine brand that Zappos is proud to work with, sent me a pair of Dressports Abraim dress shoes, and they challenged me to put them on for a little run. Rockport says that this shoe is as comfortable as an athletic shoe, and I wanted to see for myself.

Run Brett Run: Zappos Half Marathoners

Many Zapponians that are planning to run the 13 mile Half for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon are training hard and have their eyes on Dec. 6. We all have different reasons for wanting to run the Half Marathon, and today we profile some of the brave souls who have decided to boogie on to the finish line. I introduce some of our Half-ers in the fine video below, produced by our own Jason C..

For Those About to Run, We Salute You!

Run Brett Run: Travel Tips

Ani DiFranco reference in the title of this blog? Anyone? Anyone?

Hey there, Brett here. I’ve learned a lot during this training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon, and I sure would like to share a bit of it with you.

1. Know your limits. If your knees are swollen, ice them and take the night off. If you’re feeling dehydrated, don’t run until you’re feeling like you’re up to it. If you feel like your ankles or knees are getting weak, or you have any real pain going on, get it checked out, or, at the least, take a break for a day or two till you’re not feeling like your legs are going to go out. I know you get that feeling of guilt if you don’t get out there and run everyday, but getting injured and being forced to sit out for a month would really be the icing on that Guilt-Cake.

2. Diet does matter. I have always thought that I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as I was exercising. I would, more or less, have a big bowl of grease for at least one meal a day. I’m not saying that you can’t have a nice fast-food treat every now and again, it’s just that onion rings for breakfast probably isn’t the best way to train for a marathon. So, if you’re trying to train for a marathon and the only vegetables that you have are deep fried and come in a little cardboard container, things might be a little easier for you if you limit that to about once a week.

3. Keep trying to improve a little every run, but don’t kill yourself. It doesn’t have to be a mile increase every run, but try to go just a little farther, or run your distance in a little quicker time. In my experience, just getting in a minute or so quicker than the night before makes me really anticipate beating that time the next day. It’s motivating, and this is coming from someone who two months ago was unmotivatable.

So, keep getting out there and training; Dec. 6 is just around the corner…let’s keep rocking and rolling, ya’ll!

Sign up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon here!

Playlist for the Week:
Gov’t Mule: Banks of the Deep End Volume 1
Jay-Z: The Black Album
Scene Unseen Movie Podcasts

Run Brett Run: Walking the Dog!

The training continues, after a few days of healing. The blister issue was explained to me quite well by our in-house expert on running. Chris P. told me, “Dude, you have to stop running until these heal. Seriously.”

I listened to him. (As you may have noticed, if you’ve been following this, I’m not a big fan of..you know….listening to advice, of any kind. But I’m trying Ringo, I’m trying real hard.

So, I took 5 days off from running and just lifted and hit the elliptical about 20 minutes a day. I had a great deal of back issues when I began training, and at the advice of our in-house life coach, Dr. Vik, I visited a chiropractor. He helped me out the most by saying that my posture is real, real bad and that I need to work on the muscles in my back, otherwise the problems would persist. I actually listened to something for a change, and man, it’s working like a charm, yo! And for the first time in my life, I don’t have the posture of someone living in the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

Below is a little video of my cool-down ritual every night. Take a gander, if you please.

My playlist for the last week has been:

  • The Black Crowes-Before the Frost
  • Chris Thile-How to Build a Woman From the Ground
  • My Morning Jacket-Songs: Ohia-EP

Get out there and sign up for the marathon, Zappos!

Mizuno Mobile Running Lab

Our friends at Mizuno came by the office last week to show off their Mobile Running Lab, which houses their signature Precision Fit Machine and every shoe size imaginable. Over 20 Zappos team members received a biomechanical running analysis to valuate several different aspects of their gait, foot arch, posture etc. The purpose of the Precision Fit Machine is to help runners find the perfect Mizuno Running shoe to fit their feet. A big thanks to Mizuno for coming out and helping get us ready for the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon !

Zappos Business Units Take the Next Step!

We are happy to announce that our Customer Loyalty lead Jean D. has implemented the Internet Vendor Mentor program. This new program allows our vendors the opportunity to listen in on phone calls from our customers regarding questions about their respective categories. For example, if one of our rideshop vendors wants to hear questions that our customers are asking about skate shoes, they can sit in with representatives of our rideshop business unit. We currently have 5 business units: Kids, Outdoor, Running, Comfort and Rideshop.

Great job, Jean!