One of those mornings

Despite a good nights rest, coffee with a good breakfast, it was just a plain dumb way to start the day’s practice.

There are a lot of indoor shoots on the horizon. So, I’ve been practicing more shooting spots versus 3D animals. It hasn’t been easy; the weather has been very uncooperative.

The wind, yesterday, was blowing at a constant 17 mph with gusts to 25 mph. It felt worse. In addition, there was a light rain. I ended up opening the barn doors of my shed and shooting from inside the shed out toward the target. That distance was only 25 yards.

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Opps

This morning it was hot, humid, and for the moment windless. Skipping my run I took advance of the conditions. No wind is a rare thing here and I was happy to shoot.

Some first shots are really dumb. Being eager to fire off an arrow, which I did, I neglected to adjust my sight to 20 yards. Thankfully, my last shot yesterday wasn’t from 50 yards.

Another Patent – Cool

Some of you may be aware that I was once in the medical field. I’m still involved a bit with a couple of medical groups, but for the most part 40 years was enough. While in that profession I sometimes invented things.  Here’s the abstract listed on another patent I was just awarded (along with two other scientists). This is the abstract from patent number 9,055,888:

“A system for sampling exhaled breath and for supply of a gas, the system comprising: a gas delivery cannula comprising at least one nasal prong for insertion into a nostril, the nasal prong comprising a distal end; an exhaled breath sampling cannula for insertion into the nostril, the exhaled breath sampling cannula comprising a distal end; and a connector for coupling the gas delivery cannula to the exhaled breath sampling cannula, such that the distal end of the exhaled breath sampling cannula is disposed deeper in the nostril than the distal end of the nasal prong, to reduce dilution of sampled exhaled breath by delivered gas. The connected is configured to facilitate adjustability of an insertion depth of the exhaled breath sampling cannula into said nostril.”

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This is for exhaled breath sampling with the delivery of a medical gas.

End of a scheduled break

Today is the end of a rest period. That means I haven’t picked up my bow in four days. Frankly, I needed the break. In all sports athletes need to make certain that rest periods are included in training.

I do the same for running, swimming and cycling. With a race on Saturday I am tapering a little for that event. As part of that taper I’ll run 3 easy miles this afternoon. On Tuesday I won’t run, Wednesday will be speed work in the form of intervals, then short easy running on Thursday and Friday. But, for archery – I truly needed the break.

Shooting twice a day for months on end can wear down joints and muscles. Granted, I make sure I have rest days throughout my training. However, four days in a row was the longest break I’ve had in months. Believe me, it wasn’t easy.

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1st shot a little too high, 2nd a little too low, 3rd just right

By the end of my scheduled break I was more than eager to get out shoot. I was a little off, but not much. We have a storm off the coast and the winds have been steady at 25 mph. In order to shoot I had to ‘hide’ behind a shed. I still got pushed around a bit but did fair at 35 yards. Any closer or further from the target and I was standing in a wind tunnel.

Riding the Computrainer

images-1A close friend of mine is Savannah, who isn’t a competitive cyclist, asked me, ‘What is a Computrainer?” I’d mentioned my Computrainer in a post and she wanted to know more about it. While she isn’t a bicycle ‘racer’ she does ride for fun. So, Cathy – here is a bit about a Computrainer:

Computrainer is a product by Racermate, Inc. located in Seattle, Washington. It is a ‘trainer’ whereon you can attach your bicycle. This allows you to train indoors when going outside isn’t an option.

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Looking down while training, control display on my handle bars, Ironman Texas on the Computer

Riding a trainer for hours is a mental bore. However, Racermate has designed a system that creates a entertaining interface for your bicycle and a variety of computer enhancements.

Their software displays many sports physiological bits of data, such as power, revolution per minute, average torque angle, caloric output, heart rate and other useful information. There are methods to evaluate each legs performance, set training course, set an avatar, race others and my favorite ride an actual course while viewing it.

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View of the some of the data provided during a training session

Of all the training tools I’ve ever owned the Computrainer is the best. In fact, some triathletes train exclusively on the Computrainer and leave outside riding for race day.

Recently, I converted a shed to house my training set-up along with some of my other bikes, archery equipment, swimming gear, and ham radio. Personally, I appreciate riding the Computrainer while watching other races. Sometimes, I’ll watch the DVD of Ironman Kona, another Ironman event, or Tour de France stage  while racing the course. Or I can watch a movie while data is displaced on the   controller attached to my bike’s handle bars.

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Some of my bikes and my Computrainer set-up

If you’re a cyclist or triathlete you probably already know about this product. If you’re an archer – believe me there is nothing in our sport that matches what a Computrainer can do to improve your performance.

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This is a tough workout

A Breach in the Sisterhood

Following morning archery session I drove to the YMCA to swim, lift weights and run. On these mornings, my sequence of exercise / training is shoot, swim, lift and run. Typically, things work out pretty much to that plan. There are rarely surprises.

At the YMCA, I don’t get there until around 10:00 am, I’ve noticed that most of the people working out are women. They range from moms with babies or toddlers that are dropped at the Y’s day care while mom gets a training session to grandmamma having a go at the water aerobics. This assemblage of female athletes includes college students to the late shift workers. Still, the majority of Y patrons, when I’m there, are vastly female.   I consider myself lucky in this happy coincidence of timing. This is not meant to be a sexist statement; there is an olfactory advantage to be surrounded my women versus men.

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Plainly speaking men folk are less concerned about their gym hygiene than women – Personal Observation. Guys will often wear the same gym apparel for several workouts (unwashed) and a towel can be used many times over. Once a towel has dried it is good to go. Alas, for many men there is seemingly no point taking a shower before going to the gym – obviously we take a shower at the gym after we’ve worked out. If the reused towel has become too rank, workout clothes function as a close second. Again, personal experience prevails.

The women I’ve noticed at the Y seem often times are not only pre-showered and “done-up” (Nice hair, make-up, clean clothes) they rarely stink. Not the case with the men. A hat goes a long way to disguise morning hair. However, day old body funk is harder to mask. In fact, when I migrate from the cardio weights, where more women workout at this time of day, to the free weight room, the cluster of daytime men’s area, the aroma of the space degrades to a noticeable degree.

Overall, I’d say the ladies, at the Y in the mornings, as a rule have a personal hygiene practice that exceeds most men. Nevertheless, today I received a smelly shock.

The Y was unusually crowded this morning. True to form, the gathering was mostly females all set about doing a variety of calisthenics. This included treadmill running or walking. The last workout on my morning routine was running on the treadmill. Only one was available, located somewhat in the middle of the treadmill park facing a bank of televisions.

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I clambered onto the open treadmill, women on either side and in front of me then ramped up the speed. The facing televisions all have the same disease – noting but mind wasting manure being projected. I don’t watch TV in preference to an audiobook on iPod for listening while I toll my run away.

My headphones are excellent at canceling outside noise which rarely intrudes upon the narration of a good book, in this case, ‘Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy” by John Le Carre. I’d read it years ago and hearing it brings another level of sensory and cognitive enjoyment. Pacing along on the treadmill, listening to George Smiley’s (character in the book) spy investigations, I was hit by an unpleasant sensation.

I might have heard it coming except for the headphones. Perhaps, I’d felt the rumble and attributed it to the treadmill. A cloud of feculent discharge had engulfed me. I knew two things, it wasn’t me and it was massive.

Surrounded by women it didn’t take much to figure out the offense had been discharged by one of them. Through my tears I glanced left and right. Unlike a group of guys, where one is the culprit, there were no pumping fists of the small victory against one’s brothers. The sisterhood is more conspiratorial. Indeed, this was champion level flatulence. In true form, there was no female face that might reveal the originator of this product. It seems there is a universal policy, albeit unwritten, that women don’t break wind in public. In some more fanatical circles that policy extends from birth to the grave regardless of environment or social situation. Should such a public malfeasance occur, the sisterhood lets it slide in anonymity.

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Today’s pēdere suggests a more liberal position by some sister when it comes to treadmills and gyms. In further speculation this might have been a ‘shart’. If you don’t know a ‘shart’ occurs when substance passes along with the gas. It is unexpected. The umbrage lingered too long to have exited without accompaniment.

 

One of those days where swimming and running were better than shooting

Today was good for fitness training, not as good with archery. My morning practice, shooting at paper, I shot okay. Not great but there were some really nice shots. You know the ones that ‘feel’ good. Afterwards I had one of those swims that hurt but it felt good moving through the water.

Running was fine and exclusively on a treadmill. I have four races over the next 6 weeks and a treadmill allows me to set a pace and get a feel for the time per mile. Granted, running on treadmills is as boring as it gets but they serve a purpose.

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One of my favorite targets – I like the way the tree line up the shot.

Shooting 3D in the afternoon sucked. I shot a 160 for 20 targets. I warmed up shooting about 40 arrows at different targets over different known distances. Then, I shot 20 targets at unknown distances from a range of 22 to 50 yards.

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This pig was one of my good shots from 34 yards.

I try to make the shots difficult and lately have been working to make my targets harder than what I might see in competition. I see a lot of difficult shots during tournaments so I do what I can to make things tough.

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This is one of those “on again -off again” targets. The X is just below that center white spot. Still from 39 yards a difficult target.

I’d say today I succeeded.

A better day shooting 3D

Changing to a new bow 11 weeks ago has been a challenge. Changing my release and sight boosted that challenge. Today, shooting started to improve.

Still, things aren’t where I’d like them to be but I left the 3D shooting in Elizabeth City, NC feeling better about my rig and scoring a personal best on their range. The Fountain of Life Soul Hunters conducted the shoot. They are notorious for setting up shots at small targets in dark places. They also like trees and many targets are arranged so that working an arrow through a maze of them is a given. There aren’t any easy shots – even the ones that at first seem easy will fool you. It makes for a seriously fun day of shooting.

I shot with my friend Norman and another fellow I met today, John. Norman is a USA Archery Coach. He’s a good shot and does well despite every time he shoots he’s further back than the competition. He gets around on a motorized cart and shoots the same course as everyone else. The problem is his cart typically can’t get to the stake, so he takes aim as close to it as he can drive. This can be up to 4 yards further away from the target as is the furthest stake.

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Norman, shooting a few yards further back than the longest shot for the rest of us.

Today we were allowed to purchase a “Mulligan” arrow for an additional $3.00. The way this works, on their range, is that if you score a bad shot, say a 5, and you want to take your “Mulligan” you have to call it while you are at that stake and before you step away. Honestly, I generally forget rules and end up not taking advantage of the bonus arrow.

This time Norman forgot the “Mulligan” process and on the last target took his “Mulligan”. He shot two 12s. The $3.00 investment served him poorly. To be fair, the 1st shot looked like a 12 but we couldn’t be certain. The second 12 sealed the deal.

It is always a treat to shoot with friends. When I first began shooting with this group I did feel like an outsider. Over the months I think I’ve become a bit more welcome. I hope so; I know I am always glad to see this crowd.

Solo Morning Practice / Afternoon Practice

Shooting practice is often a solo activity. That can be good, but there are times it would be nice to practice with company. Livings in very rural North Carolina odds are that nearly all my practice is solo.

An advantage I have is I never need to what for range time. I can step outside and shoot at paper targets or 3D. During the winter or when there is bad weather having somewhere to practice indoors is nice.

In Elizabeth City, NC a new indoor range has opened. Brenda, my wife, was heading to the Y for an extra workout. I wasn’t, my workouts were up to par, and so I headed to the new indoor range.

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One lonely bow on an empty (well nearly empty) range

Cost for an hour of shooting is $6.00. The range is marked at 20 and 25 yards. I paid my fee and decided on 20 yards. I had the range all to myself. Another solo day and this day I was glad to be alone.

Shooting a 5-spot indoors, no wind, no pressure, I shot like crap. I don’t think I ever shot five Xs in a row. Lately, that’s how my shooting has been running.

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This cat is always hard to see in the afternoon.

Back at home; in the afternoon I shot 3D. I’ll admit, there are some days that are better than others, and some months that are better as well. I think shooting with other folks adds another dimension to archery that makes me take it up a notch. For now, the best I can do to find other folks to shot with is head to as many tournaments as possible.

Paddling Mill Creek

Aside from archery and triathlon, Brenda and I do a lot of kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. Recently we paddled a water trail in Perquimans County North Carolina – Mill Creek.

Brenda had found this trail online and we’d been wanting to give it a try. Its not long, only about 4 miles out and back. But, the trail ends in a Cypress Swamp and we thought that would be pretty cool.

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Paddling Mill Creek

We headed to the put in point after morning archery practice. The online information indicated that the place to begin is at Larry’s Drive in Hertford, NC. When we arrived we noticed that large cut trees had been placed to they blocked the ramp to enter the Perquimans River, where we’d planned to start.

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Larry’s Drive In

The information about where to put in the kayaks said to park at Larry’s Drive In and leave from there.  It looked like Larry or someone had intentionally blocked the access to the river.  We considered looking for another way to get into the water.  Our options weren’t good.

I decided, at Brenda’s insistence, to go inside Larry’s and ask about the blocked ramp. Larry’s somewhat reminded me of the biker club portrayed in the movie “Wild Hogs.”

Once inside, the place reminded me a bit more of a rough diner – it wasn’t.  The folks were nice and I was welcomed to use their landing to put our kayaks in the river. The food smelled really good. I didn’t place an order, we had a kayak trip to start.

The paddle wasn’t long, four miles round trip.  It was, however, very nice. The current was rather fast and paddling against it was work.  The creek became quite narrow and ended in a cypress swamp.  One of the more spectular paddles in this part of Perquimans County.

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Entering a Cypress Swamp

Paddling back we were going with the current and returned to the put in ten minutes faster than it took to reach the turn around point.  It was a trip worth the effort – as most seem to be.  Another nice day on the water.

Another Good Day in the South

It was a great day to be outside. The high temperature was 76°F and the humidity was low. It won’t last and winter will be here soon enough. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy fall and plan for winter.

When I awoke this morning there was no wind coming off the river. I made a breakfast of waffles and bacon then took this as opportunity to shoot holes into paper targets.   I saved my run for later in the morning.

That run would follow a swim and weight lifting. The swim was a bit of a bust. All the lanes were filled with folks whose vibe and thrashing style swim stay make sharing a lane unlikely. There were only four lanes being used. One third of the pool was reserved for “Family Swim.” With school in session not too many families are at the pool. Actually, there were no families at the pool.

There was one elderly lady floating in the third of the pool reserved for “Family Swim.” The Y had this portion of the pool blocked so that there was no possible way to swim more than 12.5 yard before swimming into a lane divider.

The elderly lady was sort of bobbing around in an area no more that a couple of yards circumference. She had 1/3 of the pool to bob up and down but needed only a few yards. When she finally completed her bobbing the lifeguard removed the lane divider and I was free to swim. Still, I’d lost 20 minutes waiting so my time was cut short leaving only enough for a kilometer swim before I needed to meet Brenda to lift weights.

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After we finished lifting weight we both got on treadmills. This was my delayed morning run. I don’t enjoy treadmills, but they allow me to set a pace and hold it. Running outside is more fun, however I  daydream and before I know it my pace has slowed. You can’t do that on a treadmill.

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Once Brenda and I got back to our home on the river we took our Carolina Skiff out for a spin. There are many little creeks that feed into Little River and they’re always fun to explore. We spent over an hour heading up one creek before returning to the main river and heading home.

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I’d wanted to get back with plenty of time to shoot 3D. I got in another two hours of shooting before it was time to head in and start preparing dinner. Before I called it quits outside there was a shot I’d wanted to take and today I took it.

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There’s a bear in them woods
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This is cropped from the above photo. If you look real hard you can just imagine seeing that bear target

I’d noticed that I could clearly see my cinnamon bear from the back yard. At 80 yards there was a shot. The worst that would happen is I’d lose an arrow. In fact, I didn’t lose the arrow and popped a 10. Like I said, it was a great day to be outside.

 

 

 

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80 yards and on the line for a 10.