Safe Distance Run

If you live in a city and need to keep a safe distance from other potential Covid-19 carriers, or keeping your Covid to yourself, it might be more difficult than usual to run.  When we lived in Easton, Maryland I knew a few people that trained exclusively for 5K runs indoors on treadmills.  The only time they ran outside was during a race.

One good friend and triathlon teammate preferred to run on a treadmill.  At the gym he used treadmills that would time out after an hour of running.  He’s run for an hour then reset the treadmill for another hour.  He is a great runner and friend. This treadmill monster, Jimmy, looks fast standing still.  Jimmy looks even faster running for the few minutes I can keep up with him running.

Treadmill-loving folks may currently be facing Covid run withdrawal or they’ve invested those “on the way” $1200.00 economic booster checks the government has promised on treadmill purchases delivered via Amazon.  Treadmills are a last resort for me.

I’ve used treadmills.  They are ideal to help set and the feel of a pace.  When there was too much ice and snow on the ground I saddled up a treadmill and hit giddy-up on the keypad.  I’d ramp up the speed as I warmed up to the mile per hour pace I needed to hold for some predetermine distance or time.  Aside from that I’ve avoided them the way I am currently avoiding people.

Outside is where I am happiest while running.  I run nearly every morning and have for decades.  There was a time I ran very little, that was a time when I was exclusively a competitive cyclist.  I still ran some in the off season.  Serious running, beyond high school sports requirements didn’t take hold until a couple of decades back when I moved to duathlons and next to triathlons.

Before then I ran when I traveled.   Not necessarily to train but to sightsee. Running in the morning before work on the road gave me an opportunity to see the State or country I was in at the time.  Over the course of 40 years I’ve run in 49 US States, 21 countries and 1 territory.

Where I run now is just behind my house.  I’ve got miles of trails to run.  Those trails need to be maintained and it is a fair amount of hard work but worth it.  The poison ivy needs to be knocked back as does high snake hiding grass. It is easy to maintain social distance on these trails since I am the only person that runs them.

If you read this and are a runner stuck indoors I do feel bad for you.  Running through cities is fun as well.  You get to see so much of the city and get a flavor for the place.

I have gotten lost a few times running in cities I didn’t know.  I got lost in Toronto Canada when I left my hotel for a 10 mile out and back.  Canadians are very helpful and I was pointed in the right direction a number of time adding just a couple of miles to the planned 20-mile run.  Once I got lost running in Versailles, France.  Despite the language barrier the French eventually had me heading in the right direction.

Running around Jerusalem was special.  There too I was once or twice misplaced.  In those events there was no help and back tracking became the solution.  After years of running in Jerusalem I got to know the city.  Tel Aviv was easy, I just ran along the coast.

On one run I decided to run from my hotel in Jerusalem to Bethlehem, not far only about 6 miles each way.  There is a sidewalk most of the way and good cushion all the way.  As I approached Bethlehem I needed a bio-break so I ran a way into the desert to avoid being seen by traffic.  The further I ran over sand the more I began to worry about yet discovered land mines.  There weren’t any land mines still I didn’t know that at the time. Another time I took a long run in the Golan Heights. I’d found what seemed to be an old trail and took off on it.  I turned around when I saw soldiers in the distance.  I didn’t know whether they were Israeli or Syrian and felt no need to learn more.

During one misadventure I got lost hours before I was suppose to give a lecture at a Medical School.  On the run there was a bit of roadwork being done.  There were orange cones around the parameter of the worksite.  Those cones were to be my marker to ‘turn here’ on my leg to the hotel where I was booked. Amazingly, the roadwork was competed before I returned.  Talk about a panic.  I had no idea where I was having missed my turn.  I had my cell phone and needed to call for directions.  I made the lecture with minutes to spare.

Simple uncomplicated trail running is the routine these days.  If you are someone stuck indoors know you’d be welcome to run my trails if you could get here and keep your distance.  If you are an archer that doesn’t run or walk for your health and fitness you might consider giving it a try.

Switching Things Up

Occasionally, it is nice to switch up training schedules. Over the past week I’ve made some alterations in my training plans.  So far, it seems like a nice change.

Thes trails are nice in the morning

Prior to the change my training went like this: run/archery mornings, cycling/archery afternoons. Essentially this was it without the detail. Last week I changed to: Run/cycling morning, archery afternoons.  Still without the details.

So far it has been fun.  It is like doing 2/3 of a duathlon.  That got me thinking about doing a duathlon. If I could find one that started at 0900 that was nearby I’d probably enter.  I did find one that nearby that started at 0700.  Transition and packet pick-up opened at 0500 on race day.  Transition closed at 0630. Start of the race is at 0700.

River had been running ahead. She’s probably wondering way I stopped. Once I showed her the little camera she understood.

Even a local event with these start times means getting out of bed at 0430 to prepare to race.  I can do it; I’ve done it countless times. But, do I want to do it again?

One really nice thing about archery is the start times. Local events start during humane hours.  It is one of my favorite things about archery.  You can’t start too early for outdoor events because you can’t see the targets. A built in cushion for decent start times.

This is 5.57 miles from my house by road. I may be one as the crow flies. This is a section of one of my bike ride courses.

Over decades I did get up at those puke of dawn hours to race.  I miss the racing; I do not miss the early mornings.  Even training meant my typical wake up time of 0530 including the weekends.

I will say I do get out to run nearly every morning by 0800.  Now with the added cycling that follows I won’t finish until 1030.  For two and a half hours I admit it is really nice.  Knock several hours off that 0800 run time and it becomes less appealing.

Afternoon on the 3D range

The afternoon archery exclusive is also nice.  I can shoot without thinking about cycling.  So far, a pretty nice switch.

Another rough day on the practice range

This seemed like an easy 31 yards shot

When I practice 3D I try to make the shots realistic to what I might find on a range during a tournament.  Some days I work long shots.  By long shots I mean distances from 32 to 43 yards.  The short 32 yards target is a coyote in a hill.  There’s a tree that blocks me from increasing the range. Today, I tried to shoot at distances that seemed typical for the target as I might see it during an actual tournament.  I didn’t finish well.

Nope, missed the area where I’d called for a 12 by a fraction
This little fellow made for an interesting target at 21 yards

Prior to the tournament style practice I warmed up from 20 to 50 yards before heading to the first 3D target.  A few days ago I started without a warm-up to practice for the time when I’ll not have a chance to get a feel for my bow before scoring.  It happens.

Still ended up with a 10
This turkey is a tough target even at a close 24 yards

The weather was ideal temperature wise but it was windy with gusts in the 20 mph range.  I wish I could blame today’s results on the wind.  I can’t.  Once in the woods the foliage was enough to diminish the impact of wind.

At 24 yards I just cut the 10 line

 

It takes about an hour and an half to walk my range shooting targets once and moving on.  The warm-up took nearly an hour.  I shot 40 arrows during my warm-up.  Warm-up felt good.  I use a 5-spot on a bale and figure if the arrow is in the white it is probably a 10 on a foam animal.

There’s a javelina in them trees
Practice this one a lot. You will see it

Starting out on my first target a black bear at 30 yards was a 12.  The next was a strutting turkey at 37 yards for a 10.  Then a badger at 30 yards scoring an 8. I ended up with one 5 on a tiny backyard coyote from 21 yards. The final tally was a disappointing 185.  We all know an average of 9.25 points per arrow will not land you in a top position.

The average distance only 29.8 yards, a factor mostly associated with the abundance of small targets I have on the range. That and I didn’t shoot further out than 40 yards.

The ranges per target

The positive from this is I didn’t break any more arrows. (This practice used a bow hunter rig. Practice geared to ASA Senior Hunter, 40 yard max distance.)

I ended my day better than this poor fellow. He wasn’t there this morning during my run.

Give me a break

I am running low on arrows for 3D.  Today, I busted one on an excellent shot.  The shot was at a steep angle. It was a tough shot. The arrow cut the line on the lower twelve right where the line intersects with the center 10 ring.  The arrow, unfortunately, hit metal in the target because of the angle.  A good shot with some bad luck.  The tip mushroomed the carbon fiber shaft. There went $22.65.

The $22.65 is the price of one of the arrows.  A dozen completely built will run $272.68.  Add tax and the price tag is $289.04.  That ain’t cheap.

I’m thinking:  Shoot these nice arrows until they are all gone.  Next, shoot some old Bemens I’ve got laying around. Then, shoot up some carbon express arrows.  There are a total of 24 arrows in the mixed bag. Yep, that might buy me a couple more seasons of fun.

Longer Distance, Lower Score

A few days ago I ran a game where I shot a solo 3D tournament.  I’d tried to make it realistic for a Senior Hunter class event. I scored 202 or an average of 10.1 points per shot. The yardage was an average of 31.25.  In this game I included all my small targets and shot them between 20 and 25 yards. The larger, medium sized targets, ranged out to 40 yards.  Still, the resulting distance average was 31.25 yard.  That seemed a bit short.

A distance of 31.25 yards seems short.  There were some longer shots, seven at 35 to 40 yards, and some medium range shots, 4 at 30 to 34 yards, the rest were from 20 to 33 yards.  So, 11 shots at greater than 34 yards and 9 between 20 and 33 yards.

To see what might happen at slightly longer distances, using a bow hunter rig, I repeated the exercise but made the distances longer, an average of 37.5 yards.  There were two short shots at 23 yards aiming at a foam mosquito and a bobcat. Aside from those two small targets all others were between 30 yards and 45 yards.

What happened to my average per arrow? It went down by nearly a point, to 9.4 points per arrow or minus 0.7 points per arrow on an average.

In my experience, here in Georgia, the limit of 40 yards for Senior Bow Hunter is merely a suggestion.  Yes, everyone needs to shoot the same targets and everyone gets a chance to enjoy the extended real estate.  But, the top guys still average greater than 10 points per arrow.

This means I’ve got some work to do aiming at longer distances if I expect half way decent finishes whenever I get to compete, again.

Raining, again, running, again

Trail head of a 1.32 mile loop

We’re supposed to get “severe, life threating storms, tornadoes, and hail” later today. We’re all doomed.  If that weather doesn’t get us the flash floods will do the trick.  Should the flash floods fail to get us the drunk drivers out on wet roads will become the instruments of doom.  Even sober drivers provide ‘risk’ to ‘threaten’ us all.

Wet run; fun run

Should we live through this day of ‘dangerous’ weather everyone will probably starve because there is no food in the grocery stores.  Even if there was food no one can buy it because the government stimulus checks have only been issued to the wealthy.

By some miracle, if we survive the storms, drunk drivers, and have food to eat we need to be on the look out for people shooting other people.  All of that aside, if anyone is left alive, the Covid-19 is going to finish them off.

The rain progressed, but it was like running through a tunnel of forest

The few of us that remain alive in 2 days time will find their demise next fall when the Covid-19 and usual flu virus team up to wipe of all off the face of the earth.

All of the above is true; reporters sharing their news stories have presented all of it.  It must be true – it was on television, Twitter and  Facebook.

Despite our reported doom, which lays in wait, I went for a run in the rain this morning. The rain was not bad; it was steady but not a storm. Once I hit the trails admittedly the pronouncements of news media, Tweets, Facebook posts and rantings of pissed off Republican and Democrats didn’t follow.

This really is hard to beat

Disclaimer:  I never look at Twitter.  I only hear the news in passing if my wife has it on television.  I limit Facebook to about 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the afternoon. You are free to believe whatever  you want. Should you want to clear your head – go for a run.

Social Distance 3D Game

I’d been upstairs at my desk working out a plan.  The plan completed I headed downstairs. My wife, Brenda, was sitting on a couch in our sunroom trying to watch a recording of “48 Hours” as I passed through on my way outside. “I made a game, I’ll be out back shooting if you need me,” I explained.  Brenda, remote control in hand aimed at the television responded with a bored, “Okay.”

Brenda and I are in our mid-60’s.  We’re not interested in testing our immune systems against the Covid-19 even though I suspect we’ve already done so and passed. We don’t know for sure if we’ve had the virus and getting a test to discover whether or not we’re loaded with the proper antibodies remains undone. So, we social distance and find ways to break the boredom.

The social distancing is more of a burden for Brenda than it is for me.  Many of the sport activities I enjoy, over the years, have become exercises I can do alone.  Brenda, on the other hand, teaches yoga.  Her yoga studio is closed and she’s less inclined to practice yoga solo than I am to run, ride, and shoot without company.

The created game I’d made was simple: Twenty 3D targets, no warm up, score and review.

Target 1: Black Bear at 34 yards
Target 2: Turkey at 32 yards
Target 3: Badger at 30 yards
Target 4: Bobcat at 20 yards
Target 5: Mosquito at 20 yards
Target 6: Mountain Lion at 40 yards
Target 7: Coyote at 30 yards
Target 8: Cinnamon Bear at 40 yards
Target 9: Buck at 35 yards
Target 10: Hen at 25 yards
Target 11: Rabbit at 20 yards
Target 12: Turkey butt at 25 yards
Target 13: Small boar at 27 yards
Target 14: Javelina at 32 yards
Target 15: Deer at 40 yards
Target 16: Medium boar at 35 yards
Target 17: Deer at 40 yards
Target 18: Cinnamon Bear, again at 40 yards
Target 19: Mountain lion, again at 40 yards
Target 20: coyote at 20 yards

You might think,’why not take a warm-up?’ Well, most of the time I do warm-up.  Prior to a tournament or scoring practices, I’ll shoot a dozen or so arrows at various known distances to verify my sightings for the lighting and loosen up my arms and shoulders. However, there have been tournaments where a warm-up might not have been possible for one reason or another. Not having a warm-up is one of the situations you can plan for and practice for when it does occur.

This is how it panned out

I ended up with a score of 202. The average per arrow was 10.1 points. An average of 10.1 might sound good, but to win at many tournaments in the Senior Hunter division 10.4 is a minimum required for a top 3 finish.  There are times when 10.8 points per arrow average is needed to be in one of the top positions.

Senior hunter division, for anyone who does not know, means short stabilizer and pins used for sighting.  You shoot a ‘hunting’ style bow setup. The maximum distance, for ASA, is 40 yards. The IBO counterpart is 35 yards.

You can see on the score paper photo two dots next to ‘Deer Old’ and ‘Med Boar.’ On those shots, a 12 and a 10, respectively, the dots represent absolutely lucky shots.  The arrows could have just as easily have been a miss.  With both, the shot went off at a point where I’d lost my focus. I had been holding for the release and my mind sort of went blank.  Not that good kind of alpha one brainwave pattern blank, the bad kind of mental blackout.

The ‘C’ next to the last target means 12 points for a center ring.  The last target is such a small coyote that, prior to scoring, made the determination to go with a center 12.

Reviewing the targets you might notice how I’ve  tried to make them interesting.  Many of them are surrounded by trees that create a higher degree of difficulty. Still, there are enough of the long open shots to match up with what we see during competition. There’s also an abundance of small targets.  The population of small targets is purely the result of target pricing.

I need to shoot a few of the targets more than once to get 20 shots.  On those I take a different angle so I’m not simply repeating the prior shot. I only have 16 3D targets.  I have space for four more.  Perhaps, those potential new targets will appear after my US Economic Stimulus money arrives.

Keeping the average distance and average score per arrow up, in both instances, is tough with the abundance of small targets on the range.  In this case the average distance was 31.25 yards.  Shooting small targets, like mosquitoes, badgers and rabbits, at long yardages is unrealistic.  First, I’ll probably never see them in a major event and second I’m running short on 3D arrows.  I only have 8 remaining functional 3D arrows. No point in taking a chance on wasting an arrow.

The javelina is small and it was set at a distance of 32 yards for this game.  I will shoot the javelina out to 40 yards a lot.  That little target seems to be a favorite used to show off real estate. A couple of years ago I did see the badger at 40 yards over in North Carolina.  I’ve not seen the badger since. The javelina, on the other hand, will pop-up at maximum range, secured on a log, in some dark hole, there to embarrass you every weekend.

I haven’t bought any new 3D arrows in three years.  Over the course of 36 months I’ve lost a few and broken more.  This past week I lost the tips out of four arrows, left behind when I pulled the arrow free of foam.  I had two tips in my shed among surplus archery parts and those have been loaded. There are two more arrows without a tip.  Getting a couple of tips will bring me to 10 useable arrows.

In 3D you only need one arrow most of the time.  Occasionally, you will lose a tip, get your arrow broken by another archer, and rarely fire off a miss then bye bye arrow.  The biggest problem in creating this dwindling pool of 3D arrows is, during practice, shooting more than one arrow at the same spot.  You do lose a lot of nocks that way as well as the intermittent Robin Hood which might cost you two arrows. Three years ago I had 24 3D arrows. Time to bite the nock and buy some more regardless of economic stimulus relief.

Granted, this was fun even if it isn’t as much fun as shooting with other folks.  But, it beats the heck out of trying to find something on TV to watch.

‘What to Wear’ (Running)

Okay, I’ve stolen the title for this article.  In fact, it took it off of the cover from Runner’s World Issue 4/2019.  Having received the magazine a few weeks ago it does puzzle me where the year on the cover reads 2019.  The calendar question isn’t what has prompted me to consider this writing.  It was the eye-catching promise of meaningful information delivered within the pages behind the cover.

The headlines on the cover of Runner’s World pledged “53 Surefire answers to one of running’s most enduring questions: What to Wear”.  The periodical suggests the information inside will educate readers on “How to choose the gear that helps you run faster, longer and stronger in any weather”.  Furthermore, RW offers “You’ll also love our revamped interactive ‘What to wear’ tool at runnersworld.com/what-to-wear.”

Seriously, I’m not kidding

I have been a runner all of my life.  Not always a runner that ran in order to race, but running has always been part of my sports training.  I have competed in more running races than I can remember even winning a few. But, running in general is an activity that prepares me for other sports. Winning a foot race for me has rarely been a primary goal.

For example, when I competed in triathlons running was the 3rd disciple on those events.  I had to run in a triathlon.  So, I trained as a runner.  The hope for a triathlon run was to lose a little ground as possible from my gains during the cycling segment of the event.

I’d enter a marathon and run it as part if my triathlon training.  Doing so was a fun way to train. On many occasions I get up ride my bike to a running race, do the race then ride the bike home.  That was part my multi-sport training.

This was a 10K or 1/2 marathon (I can’t remember which distance) 18 miles from our home in Easton, MD. I rode my bike there, did the race, then rode home.

In high school, when I played football, we ran to help with our conditioning.  During the offseason our coaches made us run track to stay on shape for the football season.  As a cyclist I ran every off-season.  Progressing from cycling to duathlons and next to triathlons I ran.  I have run for one reason or another for well over than half a century. This reference excludes the childhood bliss of running. That bliss remains available to me playing tag or racing my grandchildren.

“Let’s race Granddaddy,” is a common request and I almost always agree. Believe me, those kids can sprint! I am not ashamed to say that on more than one occasion following an afternoon of sprinting I have felt it the next day. And I know the competition is getting serious when their shoes come off.

Seeing the articles on Runner’s World I felt a surge of pride.  Not once over more than 6 decades did I ever show up for a run improperly dressed. Never in my life have I arrived at a training run wearing boots and a dress suit.  (I wear nice western style boots with my business attire) To be fair that would be stupid and no one else has ever done that either – almost.

While I’ve never run a foot race wearing boots a friend of mine once did.  It wasn’t planned.  In fact, he wasn’t  planning to run the race.  His daughter, then 10 years old, had entered a 5K.

He’d driven her to the race after coming home off a night shift.  He’d been called in to handle a case at the hospital where he is an anesthesiologist during the early hours before the Saturday race time. He was still dressed in scrubs and wearing cowboy boots when he made it home to take his daughter to the 5K. There wasn’t time to change his clothes before they departed for the start of the 5K.

Once at the race his daughter became intimidated by the mass of runners and was nervous about running in the crowd. She wanted to go home.  Rather than see his daughter’s 5K dream squashed he entered the race and ran with her – Luccheses and all.

This hasn’t happened to me – ever!

From a more practical standpoint, if run training is occurring when it was hot I dress in light attire and if the weather is cold I wear stuff to keep me warm.  I can’t recall ever being instructed on what to wear while running.  Certainly, I have never turned to a computer application for a pre-run tutorial on what to wear for the activity. So, I was surprised to learn that what to wear during a run is one of running’s more enduring questions.

Well, you might think, “Heck David, you live in the South where weather is generally pretty nice, and you don’t need to make difficult running attire decisions.”  If that question comes to your mind you are not 100% correct. Furthermore, the difficulty of the question isn’t much.

I have run in 49 States, 21 countries and 1 territory.  What’s more I’ve done it through all seasons in all types of weather.  I have run in February near the Artic Circle (Gällivare, Sweden)  and in August in Las Vegas.  I promise I did not wear the same gear for those dissimilar environments.  I assure you no one helped me get dressed.  Neither did I need the support of an interactive computer tool to know what to wear.  Aside from donning running attire I’ve been getting dressed pretty much unassisted since I was a child.

There have been a few times when my wife did object to my choice of clothes prior to some social gathering.  The question so many of us have heard, “You’re not wearing that are you?” has happened to me.  Those situations were ones of preference not function.

Opening the pages of Runner’s World there is an article by an expert at putting on his running clothes (page 12).  He advocates: Eyewear – $165.00, hat – $32.00, Airpods – $159.00, shorts – $42.00, briefs – $36.00, cool down footwear – $50.00. Not accounting for his actual running shoes the price tag comes to $484.00.  Add a pair of shoes (page 93) at $155.00 and socks (page 44) $20.00 dressing for a warm weather run could cost $659.00.  Dang, that seems like a lot of money and the total still doesn’t cover a shirt.  The expert dresser had forgotten about a shirt during his advising column. I found one  for him on page 41 for $55.00.  The grand total is now $714.00! Holy Cow!

Note: the expert on run dressing missed – shoes, socks and his shirt among the required clothing as written in his explanation of what to wear for a run. He might have found it helpful to have opened the RW interactive computer application to have aided his article. On the other hand you can run without any footwear and a shirt really isn’t necessary. However, in a triathlon during the run some organizations require shirts – you cannot race without wearing a shirt. The RW expert, perhaps, isn’t associated with triathlons.

I ran this morning and it wasn’t cold.  I wore similar apparel to the expert’s advised gear listed in Runner’s World.  I couldn’t remember what I’d paid for my gear.  But, I knew where to look to find out – Amazon’s link to my past purchases: Shoes Nike Revolution 4, $50.62, shorts Baleaf – $19.99 (these have a stitched in brief, an expert’s additional expense avoided), socks from Sock Guy, $7.60, T-shirt Goodthreads $12.00, cap with UGA logo $18.00.  The cap was purchased from a drugstore in Athens, Georgia.

I don’t use “cool down recover shoes” so money saved there.  I, also, don’t run with music playing, I’d rather hear what’s going on around me on the trails I run. So, another savings there on the Airpods.  Note: I wouldn’t buy Airpods period.  That would be money soon lost.

My total cost toward the unassisted body covering of running apparel: $108.21. Would I have run faster or longer or even more comfortably having spend another $605.79 (the difference in my apparel versus the above expert’s) – nope.

Less than fancy race apparel (5K in Miami, 1st place sometime a decade or so ago)

Reading over the material in Issue 4/2019 of Runner’s World I didn’t get the impression I was any more enlightened in the matter of apparel for running than I had been when I began the read.  Curiously, I hadn’t known I needed enlightenment in the matter at hand. Admittedly, the examples of runners modeling clothing in this issue all appeared to be wearing fancier gear than I have wear worn or probably ever will wear with one exception.

‘Pre’

The exception was Steve Prefontaine.  Runner’s World ran a picture in Issue 4/2019 of ‘Pre’ from what I guess was taken in 1972 during the Olympics or at the 1971 Pan Am Games.  I made that guess because Pre is wearing a “USA” jersey.  I, too, have a USA Team kit from a World Championship team.  I doubt either one of our jerseys was in the price neighborhood of $55.00 similar to the one on page 41 of RW.

My one cool kit

When I finally closed the pages of RW Issue 4/2019 it felt more like I’d been schooled on how to spend money.  The cover’s eye catcher would have been better presented as “53 Surefire answers to one of running’s most enduring questions: What to Buy”.   For me, I’ll run cheap and more modestly dressed. It really is easy.

All that work and….

A whole bunch of archery tournaments have been canceled or moved.  Some of the new dates might not work out.  We’ll see how it goes.

2020’s spring competitive archery season isn’t going the way it was planned.  Oh well, there is nothing that can be done aside from continuing to practice.

To change the practice pace I switched over to 3D leaving dots for another day.  Actually, tomorrow I may start shooting dots in the morning and 3D in the afternoon.  That’s how I done in the normal years.

The problem I am facing, as a result of a lot of 3D archery, is a quickly lowering quantity of arrows.  No, I am not missing targets and losing them.  Tips and nocks are becoming a problem. I lost three tips, left behind in foam, and busted a couple of nocks. Later today I’ll dig around to see if I’ve got a reserve stash of tips and nocks.  Once upon a time I did – Lord knows where they are now.

Archery isn’t the only area of concentration leaving me wanting more.  When this pandemic hit the news there were cries for more respiratory therapists.  I am a therapist, among “other things”, but I’d noticed the State I was retiring and didn’t renew my license.  Wanting to pitch in I began the process of reinstating my license.  No small task considering I had to compete 30 hours of continuing education prior to submitting my paperwork.

Yesterday, out of curiosity I checked to see where I might help as a therapist locally. I did find hospitals in my area needed help.  There were two jobs posted: one for night shift and the other in neonatology.  I’ve done night shift and I’ve done neonatology.  To be honest I expected to find more positions available.

This got me thinking about the Covid-19 problem and the need for therapists.  I checked a number hospitals around the state and found 39 openings: 31% of them were PRN (primarily in Atlanta), 14% are part-time only (no shift indicated), 17% are for day shift (Augusta, Atlanta, and Savannah), 24% are for night shift.  The remainder of the openings, the other 14% were for therapists to work in pulmonary function/sleep or weekends only.

Having a PRN pool makes since in that the hospitals have a number to call folks in should it become necessary.  None of the PRN positions were local.  I stopped looking before I checked Macon, Columbus, and Albany.  Considering all the work I’ve been doing to reinstate my license it now seems about as critical as the spring archery season.

I’ll keep up the archery practice.  When it comes to reinstating my license I’m considering going ahead and fork out the cash.  On the other hand, maybe I’ll just have all the paperwork and continuing education done and ready to submit if the need every arises. If it were simply a matter of wanting to earn some cash, the “other things” pay a whole lot better. But this license reinstatement was never about money.

Enjoying Backyard 3D – Well, Backwoods 3D in this Case

I am fortunate that I have a 3D range on my property.  When ever I want I can head out to my woods and practice.  Admittedly, my urge to shoot foam diminished in 2019 because it became too expensive to make the drives to many of the tournaments.  But, it is truly refreshing to take a break from shooting dots and shoot foam.

Camera zoom at 43 yards
This small boar practiced here at 32 yards

When we lived in Maryland, when I’d just started shooting a bow (6 years, 4 months, and 11 days ago as I write), I could drive to a 3D tournament every weekend in less than 45 minutes each way.  Heck, I could shoot in Delaware in not time flat. (In those States every 3D was an IBO 3D)

In North Carolina the longest ‘routine’ drive for me was an hour and there were often multiple events on any weekend during 3D season.  Of course, if I wanted I could drive further to attend other 3D events and I often did make the longer trek. We lived on the coast and to head to city like Asheville you can plane on 5 1/2 hours of non-stop driving. We’re actually closer to Asheville now that we live in Georgia than we were while living in North Carolina by 2 1/2 hours.

North Carolina is a large state. NC ranks 28th among US states in size. Georgia is even larger at 24th. In Georgia there are plenty of tournaments if I am willing to extend my driving time.

Camping for a tournament 3 hours from home.

If I’m going to a tournament that is 2 hours one way I’d rather take the camper and spend a night or two. What I do for a Saturday tournament is leave on Friday, set up camp then hike in the campground or State Park.  On Saturday shoot then back to the campsite.  I might cookout or go to an interesting local restaurant. Then pack up and head home on Sunday. It is fun but it ain’t free.

I know a lot of folks consider 4 hours of driving to shoot a 3D event is easy.  I’ve done it myself.  But, I’d rather not spend 4 hours on the road to shoot a 4 hour event. That’s the entire day gone for 20 shots (we’re all ASA here in Georgia for those IBO 30 target readers).  No, if I’m driving 2 hours one way it needs to be a destination event where I can camp and do other activities for the effort.

There are frequent spectators on the range

Georgia may have other nearby 3D events I’ve not yet discovered that might reduce the travel.  Too many times, so far in Georgia, I’ve hooked up the camper and made a weekend of attending a tournament. Yes, it is fun.  It is also expensive.

This turkey is in a shadow. It is a pretty tough shot despite being close at 27 yards

Since I retired admittedly I’ve gotten a bit tighter with my purse than I was when I had a flowing disposable income.  Every purchase I make I consider the cost and benefit far more closely than during pre-retirement.  Studying my family’s life expectancies statistically I’ve got 3 to 4 decades left before I kick the bucket.  So, rushing off to every potential cash burning archery tournament could in the long run hurt.

It happens
Zoomed photograph of this little bobcat at 24 yards

Having my own 3D range helps with the fun and costs nothing more than wear and tear on targets and range maintenance.  Most of my targets were purchased before I retired and a number were hand me downs. Each year I fill the old targets with spray in foam and they’re good for another year.

Trail cam got me after pulling arrows on that bobcat.

Every once in a while I move them around the range to change my view of the target.  I also change the shooting position to keep practice interesting.

Badger at 37 yards. Not a long shot but a technical one.
You can see the angle of the arrow on this badger – just getting the ten ring

For example, during the last practice I moved so that I needed to shoot a very clean shot to send an arrow between tightly grouped trees in order to reach the target.  Another time I stood at such an odd angle that arrows either hit the mark, banked off a tree or buried themselves in leaves. To be sure these tough shots have cost me more than one arrow. On this day no arrows were sacrificed.

The arrow marks the spot of this little boar at 34 yards
And these arrows hit the spot

Some of the shots I create I doubt I would ever see; some do represent interesting shots I have seen.  Whether or not 2020 becomes a total Covid-19 bust remains undetermined. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy shooting alone.

To have those arrows hit the spot you have to “Watch out for that Tree”