Time Out

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My Facebook feed is filled with lots of pictures of friends running. Some are doing local races and others are down for the big Princess Marathon weekend at Disney. Looking at all the fun everyone is having makes me envious and makes me want to lace up my running shoes and start training again.

But I am in time out. And it is a much-needed time out.

I learned this lesson in my early twenties after I had ankle surgery and got back out on the volleyball court a little too soon. Of course being in my twenties I was in the indestructible phase of my life so I could play through the pain (or at least I thought I could).

Time out to recover doesn’t mean a time out from an active life. It’s just a different kind of active and on a much different scale. Of course it is frustrating not being able to play but over the years I have learned to appreciate giving my body a break. I’m hoping giving myself a long break now will keep me from breaking myself when I get back out there.

Good luck to everyone running this weekend. Can’t wait to get back on the road with you.

Ruggles, the Real Cost of Localism in Surfing

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Ruggles Ave

Up until a few weeks ago the wave at Ruggles Ave in Newport, RI was kept in obscurity. Few people knew about the break. The local surfers kept it quiet; they did not want a crowded lineup. Then the fate of the wave was in question. Hurricane Sandy damaged parts of the famed Newport Cliff Walk. In order to repair and protect the walk the Rhode Island Department of Transportation proposed building a stonewall that would serve as a break wall. To complete the construction 200-foot temporary causeways would need to be built. The causeways would sit in the middle of the surf break at Ruggles.

The Newport surf community was up in arms about losing their wave. Sid Abruzzi headed an effort to stop the construction. With the help of Clean Ocean Access, they started a petition via change.org, which got over 6,000 signatures from around the world. Abruzzi was featured in several newspapers around the country, speaking about how important the wave is to Newport. The effort was successful, Ruggles was saved.

Ruggles Contstruction

While the local Ruggles surfers appreciate the attention and effort to save the wave, they have a dirty little secret, they don’t want people to come surf their wave. After talking with non-Ruggles surfers in the community and researching the spot via the web I discovered numerous accounts of tires being slashed, cars being keyed, and people being physically threatened. These tactics were all means to regulate the number of surfers in the lineup.

Another tactic was refusing to reveal the name and location of Ruggles. Numerous articles were written about Newport surfers, and at the request of the surfer the name of the break location was not included.

In all the commotion to save Ruggles, the crew failed to stop and listen to what was really going on. The head engineer from the Rhode Island Coastal Resource Management was against the proposal. The Newport City Council was against the proposal. The opposition was because the proposed construction could impact the economy of Rhode Island.

Hospitality and tourism is the second fastest growing industry in the state and currently ranks fourth overall. The tourism industry brings $2.31 billion into the state and supports over 66,000 jobs. Newport is one of the main draws to Rhode Island, with the Cliff Walk being one of the crown jewels, attracting an estimated 800,000 visitors annually. Altering the Cliff Walk had the potential to impact tourism for the state. The risks of the initial proposal far outweighed the gains, which made it unrealistic and unlikely.

While the construction proposal was probably not going to happen, if the wave at Ruggles was really at risk, the localism of the Ruggles surfers would have be one of the biggest threats to the wave. There are two camps in the Newport surf community, those who are welcome at Ruggles and those who are not. The not crowd is the larger of the two. The result of this rivalry is many surfers were apathetic to the plight of saving Ruggles. The interest was in protecting tourism and the environment, not the wave. Many could have cared less about the surf at Ruggles Ave. The prime reason they did not care about the wave, it was difficult to care about something they had not attachment or connection with.

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Now that the Ruggles has been saved, there is a looming question; now what? With an outpouring of support from around the globe many people may feel a connection to the wave because they were part of the fight to save it. Wouldn’t it be a shame if the thanks those surfers get is a keyed car?

Vacation Runs

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Vacation, it’s a time of rest, a time of relaxation. It is a time to break from the normal routine and diet. For many this break also includes a break from working out. While a break from exercise is good, you want to make sure that you are making a temporary break not a permanent one.

I recently got back from a week of vacation at Disney World and a few weeks later, a cross-country road trip from Rhode Island to Colorado and back. Jim and I did get a big break from our normal running and workout schedule. The break felt good on the body, but we both knew too much of a break would make it that much more difficult to get back into the routine at home. We are also in a training cycle for upcoming races, the Rock n Roll half in Providence and I am gearing up for the Marine Corps Marathon. This meant a complete break was not really an option.

Jim and I both knew our training would be hampered because of our travels. This helped us temper our expectations for getting a goal time for our upcoming races. Instead we are going to focus on the fun of running and enjoy the sights and sounds of Providence and DC.

Travel and vacation puts limits on your time. You want to be sure to enjoy time with family and friends, so the long run was not an option. We were also well aware that the altitude in Colorado would be a factor on our running ability. So instead of sticking to a hard and fast training schedule, we opted for maintenance.

Our goals were defined by time and not distance. We wanted to make sure we were getting out for 20-30 minutes so we would maintain our cardio. This would keep us in good enough shape so when we returned home, we could resume our training.

Aside from getting in a workout from time to time, we were combating vacation eating. Of course we indulged in eating and drinking. So instead of not eating things, we tried to use moderation. There were times we failed, but it’s okay. The other thing we both tried to do, we keep up with hydration and eating fruits and veggies as often as we could.

Our travels have left us a little less prepared for our upcoming runs that we would like, but I’m confident we’ll be ready to cross the finish line.