Headed to Advance, NC for the NC State Indoor 18-meter Championship.
Taking a day off once every 7 to 10 days is part of my training plan. I used a similar technique for other sports. In archery, the physical demands are the same as in triathlon or cycling. Nevertheless, shooting 100 – 200 or so arrows per day takes a toll.
While shooting yesterday, during my second session of practice, I knew I was feeling the strain. In the morning practice I’d shot around 84 arrows, give or take a few. By arrow around 42 during the afternoon I was feeling it. So, I put my bow down and called it a day.
Tomorrow I’ll not even pick up my bow until 6:30 PM when I warm up for a 60-arrow league competition. Friday, I’ll not shoot at all and hope I am rested for the Saturday North Carolina State Championship in Advance, NC.
Having some free time on my hands I had a choice to make: go for a long bike ride, take the boat out, or go kayaking. I choose kayaking.
Living on the Little River makes it a breeze to get out on the water. It takes minutes to slide a kayak down a few steps from our lawn onto the river. Even though the temperature was nice, in the upper 60°s, the water is still in the 40°s. I took great pains not to get my feet wet going into the boat. Cold feet at the start of a kayak trip aren’t fun.
The river was totally flat today. I paddled around to Deep Creek and took a look at some of the swampy areas near our home. It was a short trip, only a couple of miles, and I took my time. The trip was about relaxing and enjoying the surroundings.
As I paddled back to my dock I noticed, Brenda (my wife), River and Nixie were out to welcome me home. It was also time to throw sticks into the river for the dogs to retrieve.
River, a lab, has a serious advantage over Nixie, a wired haired dachshund when it comes to, well almost everything. Nixie has no idea she’s a dachshund. She thinks, by way of her actions, that she’s a Labrador retriever.
My morning practiced was limited to an hour and a half. Shortening the afternoon archery practice for other fun sports was a great way to enjoy active recovery and work into a taper. There may be better methods to prepare for an ‘A’ event. If so, those methods are beyond my current vocabulary.
During some 18-meter indoor shoots we end up plugging away at a Vegas style 3-spot. At others there’s a vertical 3-spot facing archers.
Heck, rather than alternate (shooting them on alternate days), I put both up and practiced on them in sequence. Shooting 6 arrows rather than 3 saved a lot to time walking back and forth.
If you’ve been following this site you know I run with my dog, River. On our morning runs we’re joined, almost without fail, by Coco who is also a Labrador Retriever. Other dogs join and I am often times running with a pack of dogs. But, River and Coco are the ringleaders and seem to be amazingly good friends.
I don’t understand how dog friendships are developed or evaluated. I can only observe what seems to be an extremely playful and happy response by River and Coco when they see one another and how they interact. Today, I watched River do something I can’t explain in dog terms but it appeared to be sharing.
When I run I never carry dog treats. If dogs make it back to my house they are given treats. But, typically all the dogs, Coco included, turn back a few hundred yards away from my front door. They used to come all the way to the house. That doesn’t happen any longer.
Three years ago we bought a wirehaired dachshund, Nixie. She’s a great dog around people and River. But, she has no tolerance for vagrant animals and chases all others away. She’s a lot smaller, an 18 pounder, than any of the other dogs, but she is aggressive toward them and the bigger animals don’t want to deal with her.
Today I did bring dog treats on the run. Only Coco and one other dog showed up for the outing. On the way home I remembered the treats in my jacket pocket. With about a third of a mile left to run I stopped and gave River and Coco a treat.
The treats are nothing special, they’re Milk Bone MaroSnacks. River and Nixie seem to really like them. Well, I handed one to River and she took it. Then I handed one to Coco, she too took the Milk Bone.
When Coco finished gulping hers down River faced Coco nearly nose to nose. Then, River bowed her head and dropped her unmolested Milk Bone on the road. Next, River looked at Coco, eye to eye.
I was shocked; River always eats a treat. Still, here it was, a Milk Bone on the road in front of Coco’s paws. Coco seemed to understand, bent head down, took the treat and ate it. Both dogs then wagged at each other and ran away through water filled ditch.
I tried it again with the treats to see what would happen. This time River ate her treat, as did Coco. I’m not sure what it was I had witnessed with the first treat. By human standards it appeared to be sharing. Once home River got a bath and another treat.
When I began shooting a bow (3 years, 4 months, and 2 days ago) the 10 ring on a 3-spot, for 18 meter shooting, was the second smallest ring in the yellow. The smallest ring was still a 10 but counted as a 10X where the archer with the most X’s won the day.
Shooting that larger 10 ring I was progressing and my scores were improving. About a year later things changed. The change was rough. Only the smallest ring, about the size of a penny counted as a 10 and the remaining yellow was a nine. My scores dropped along with most everyone else’s.
So long as everyone is shooting for the same target from the same distance the scoring change is fair. But, back in November of 2016 my scores dropped again.
For months I’ve been trying to hack the problem. I’d finally edged into the 580 (out of 600) range before dropping back to an average score of 552. That’s a lot of points moving in the wrong direction.
I tried switching back and forth between my Elite 35 Energy and my Mathews Conquest Apex 7. I changed from back tension to thumb and back again. I shot combinations of bows and release styles. Through it all my average remained below where I was in October of 2016.
Reviewing my notes I found, and I’d not been thinking about this, a change of arrows. The very day I changed arrows my points dropped. So out of curiosity, I switched to the arrows I’d been shooting where my scores were improving; the October and prior time. In my first try back with the old arrows my score improved by 12 points over the last practice with the new arrows.
Twelve points might not sound like a lot, but in archery that’s a nice gain. I’ll shoot with the old arrows for a while and see what happens. Hopefully, I’ll get back on the correct slope that’s advancing.