Back in the attic

On Tuesday it rained. The weather was going to run me inside to shoot. Driving to Cypress Creek Archery in Millington, Maryland to use their indoor range is a haul from Easton, Maryland. The next option is The Shore Sportsman in Easton.

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Shore Sportsman

The Shore Sportsman in Easton carries a complete line of outdoor, fishing and hunting gear. They also have a one-lane archery range in their attic. The range’s primary use is to provide initial sight adjustments on new bows. They also rent it for practice.

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Over the years I’ve done enough business with Shore Sportsman that they allow me free use of the range. The attic range is quiet and really allows an archer to focus on form. It is a bit short at 18 yards, nevertheless it is an ideal spot to get out of the rain and concentrate on fine adjustments.

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Practiced with a short stabilizer on this day.

An hour or two in the attic is a great way to spend a cold wet afternoon in Maryland.

Thanksgiving with the Lain’s

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Two of my three grandchildren enjoying Disney songs.

Thanksgiving in American is a major holiday. For my non-American friends as well as those in the US who might be interested here is a bit about Thanksgiving.

Most people associate Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims. When I asked my friends and family many thought that Native Americans invited the Pilgrims (those British separatist settlers) to a feast. In fact, the Pilgrims had invited Native Americans to attend a feast, religious in nature, as a celebration of thankfulness for a good harvest. This occurred in 1621at the Plymouth Colony in what today is Massachusetts.

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Good food follows days of preparation (At out home in Easton, MD)

The earliest recorded thanksgiving services in a territory currently belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards in the 16th century and were routine in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607.

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Hiking with my youngest daughter, Candace, her husband, Jason, and their two children, Cordelia and Merric

The first US President to proclaim Thanksgiving Day was George Washington. He set the date for October 3, 1789 to celebrate. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863. We Americans continue to celebrate this day every November.

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Scene at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, near Seward, Maryland

Part of this festivity involves a large meal with family and friends. Some of us enjoy sports on television like football, which follow the televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in NYC. Others run in Turkey Trot races, typically a 5K or 10K. We also volunteer at food centers to help the less fortunate enjoy a nice meal. And many of us go hunting.

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US Capitol building in Washington, DC

It is an important holiday in America. We spent this one with our youngest daughter, Candace, her husband, Jason, and their two children, Cordelia and Merric. The holiday was a mini-vacation with a number of adventures hiking in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and visiting Washington, DC.

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Cordelia and Merric were not pleased to see litter. Their mom placed it in the trash.

If you are reading this and you are not an American, you may have a similar holiday your country. If you do then you understand a day of thankful celebration. If not, I hope this very brief explanation helps.

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Enjoying the Smithsonian

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving

Running in Easton, MD

In North Carolina, River (my dog) runs with me ‘free-range’. By that I mean she isn’t connected to a lease. I carry a lease in case its needed, but as rule, she doesn’t need it. There aren’t any cars. In Maryland, there are cars everywhere.

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River is the best running partner. She enjoys getting out and moving. My biggest complaint is that she stops a lot particularly during the first mile or two.

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We always pause so she can sniff and at times drop off a little urine  to let other dogs know she’s in town. After two miles River settles down for the long haul.

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Even though River is good on a 3D range and enjoys visiting with other archers,  she is at her best on a run or in the water.

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River loves other archers – especially the ones with food to spare

Running free range in North Carolina is always topped off with a swim. But, while we’re in Maryland we’ll follow the rules and run leased. It also means she can’t jump in the ponds we pass during our runs in Easton.

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One odd shot

For the past two days I practiced on a 3D range. On Sunday, I shot with my Mathews ZXT. On Monday I used my Mathews Apex 7. For the two days, there was a 4-point difference for the 30 targets. Four points can mean a lot in most competition. The Apex 7 won me the 4 extra points. The reasons I practiced with the ZXT are: 1) it was cold Monday and the metal grip of the of the Apex 7 isn’t as nice as the wooden grip ZXT when it is cold, and 2) I hunt with the ZXT.

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Arrow touching the edge of the center ring

There’re a couple of pigs on the course. The distance is about 30 yards for the one in these photographs.  I hit it pretty good on Monday, the arrow touching the line of the center circle. When I pulled the arrow, I lost the field tip and the insert for the tip. Both remained lodged in the middle of the foam hog.  I’d carried three arrows in my quiver so I had two more with which to continue practicing.

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You can see the silver insert, from the arrow a day before, on the tip of the arrow going through this pig.

On Monday I was shooting on the same range. Once again, I hit the pig in a good spot. When I walked up to retrieve the arrow I was surprised to find Monday’s arrow had found the insert and field tip from Sunday. That was one odd shot.

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Better view of the insert and tip from Sunday shot out of the pig on Monday

Another Saturday Practicing at Cypress Creek Archery

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The staff at Cypress Creek has decorated for Christmas.

Saturday I spent time practicing on the indoors at Cypress Creek Archery. I’d lucked out, once again, and had the range to myself. The target set up was two FITA 3-spots so that six arrows could be fired before retrieving them.

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I shot with my Mathews Apex 7 for about an hour then changed over to my ZXT for another 30 minutes. Good way to spend time on a Saturday morning.

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Harry hard at work

Sunday the weather will be warmer and it means 3D work outside.

Thawing my bow

Yesterday, I stopped at Staples to buy a new 2015 calendar. My bows were in my truck. When I got home, I forgot to take them out and the overnight temperature was in the low 20’s.

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A customer at Staples. To me, it is inappropriate for people to go out with their pajamas. How hard is it to get dressed?

I am heading to practice at 9:00 AM. Before I go, my target bow needed to be thawed.

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Warming my bow

Good month down South, cold here in Maryland

During the past month I’ve completed two three 5K races and 2 archery tournaments. I raced in Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland and placed 3rd twice and 2nd once. The archery tournaments were in Georgia and North Carolina. The temperature during the race in Maryland was 29 degrees F.  Yuck!

Georgia’s shoot was a USA Archery event, 18 meters, indoors on a 3-spot and I was second in the masters’ class. In North Carolina the shoot was an indoor 3D event and I placed 2nd in the bow hunters’ group.

We also had some success hunts in Georgia and we are stocked on venison.

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Man, it is cold and windy here in Maryland

Currently, I am in Maryland. We’ll stay here until early December. After that Brenda, the dogs, and I will be heading to North Carolina to check the progress on our house renovations. Then, back to Georgia where I hope to thaw out, hunt and compete in a tournament in Conyers, GA.

Planning 2015

For decades I established my race and training plan each December. Typically, I’d be in front of my computer sitting in a hotel on a business trip. From there I’d lay out my calendars, work meetings, holidays, and vacations. It was important to me and with the support of my colleagues I’d make an annual plan.

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Press release photo from my business life

In my work I traveled around the world. These trips were expensive; I flew business class and stayed in nice hotels. This meant trips had to be well planned. They were rarely canceled. After plans were prepared for an international trip, I’d search that country for races where I could compete then try to enter. As a result, I’ve been able to compete in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In the US I truly don’t recall all the states where I’ve raced since 1971.

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Registration at the Tokyo Marathon

Scheduling is now more complex because I’ve added archery. I shot in the early 70’s but didn’t compete. Today, I compete in archery. My entrance into competitive archery came following a 35-year hiatus from the sport. So, I’ve been learning to shoot a compound bow (until last year I’d only shot a recurve) and learning where to and how to compete in archery.

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Learning the ropes at the IBO World Championships

Lying on my desk, for 2015, are 12 archery tournaments, one duathlon, one ultra-cycling race, one marathon, a 10K and four 4K events. These events get me to June on my calendar. From these I’ll have to associate them with where I’ll be living at the time: Maryland, North Carolina, or Georgia. Next, I have to choose which ones to enter then add June through December.

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My desk in Maryland, working on my 2015 schedule

Once I complete my calendar I’ll set goals for each event as well as a primary goal for 2015 along with secondary goals and contingency plans for post-goal advancement. That means, there will be A, B, and C events. It also means there will be post-goal plans for cases where a goal is achieved earlier than expected.1910606_1513194688909664_6165450213979521118_n

C-Man Swim

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All of this rides on top of training plans. These plans include: shooting, swimming, cycling, running, and weight lifting. It is a lot to consider and plan. These are times when I miss my coach and trainer from the days I was purely a cyclist. In those days, it was all planned for me. With the addition of archery, I have started this process a couple of weeks early.

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My cycling Coach Nestor Gernay (dark suit) with the great Eddy Merckx

Winter Training and Practice Day

Yesterday it was too cold, at least for this misplaced Savannahian, to do much outdoors. Still, I needed to exercise and practice. To accomplish both I made use of a gym and the indoor range at Cypress Creek Archery, in Millington, MD.

A quarter of a century ago I was in a meeting on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th. In Savannah St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday and we hold a parade. The weather typically allows short pants, but many people dress more formally in celebration. From my office window, on this March 17th, I stared at snow falling. This was my first encounter with cold.

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Cypress Creek Archery, Millington, MD

Since then I’ve become more familiar with northern climates. Working in Sweden in January and February brings cold to an entirely new level. I am not referring to the nice winters of Stockholm or Uppsala. I mean driving on frozen rivers and attending meetings in Umeå. Winter in northern Sweden gave me a new appreciation of cold.

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In Edmonton, Alberta Canada my physician friends described to me the frozen people they’d find each winter. These were folks that had gone out for a drink after work. When they arrived home they sometimes weren’t able to open the doors of their homes. So, they’d wait outside until someone came to help them. During the wait they’d freeze to death. The winter I spent in Cleveland and the years in Pittsburgh and Baltimore seem tame by comparison.

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Getting my equipment prepared for practice.

What all these frozen conditions taught me was to stay warm. On Tuesday I did just that – worked out in a gym, ran a treadmill and practiced indoors. There would be time for getting back outside soon enough.

Fountain of Life Sportsmen’s Indoor 3D tournament.

Our house in North Carolina is being completely renovated. This means the property is a construction site. We’d stay away from this house except for periodic reviews of the progress meaning a few one night stays. Our first one night stay turned out to be building site bivouac and occurred during our trip from Georgia to Maryland. We stopped in North Carolina so that I could compete at the Fountain of Life Sportsmen’s Indoor 3D tournament in Elizabeth City, NC.

In September I’d visited the “Soul Hunters” indoor range where they were constructing the facility to house a 3D course. The work was impressive. There I was introduced to Woody and Cliff by a mutual friend retired US Navy Chief Norman Mitchell. The work underway made it obvious this was going to be an exciting range on which to shoot.

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Sign in for the event

Brenda and I left NC for GA to hunt and get out of the North Carolina work zone that was once our abode. After several weeks in Georgia we needed to head north, to Maryland, to check on our property in Easton. We’d been away about 6 weeks and it was time to visit and for a race. Rather than drive straight through, we stopped in Hertford in order to shoot in the 3D tournament.

The night tournament was held on Friday with a causal start from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM. As archers arrived, they would be assigned groups of five. That group would then take shots at four foam animals in front of five stations for a total of 20 shots. Each archer had 2 minutes to compete four shots. My last tournament gave me the same 2 minutes, but at 3 targets of a known distance – 18 meters. This was going to be a bit more difficult. Arriving early I was placed into the first group along with my friend Norman Mitchell.

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Norman, hitting a 12

Before the first arrow was fired, Cliff gave an opening prayer.  Cliff,  delivered a sincere, friendly, and concise heavenly offering. Later, I congratulated him on a prayer well said.

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Cliff

After Cliff’s prayer the tournament was underway. Having never competed in an indoor 3D completion, I made one mistake – I broke out my binoculars. On this range, binoculars are not permitted and Woody quickly and politely let me know.

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Woody, score keeper for the event

Shooting indoor 3D was a blast. The turnout seemed good, at least, based on my experience. There was plenty of good food that I resisted considering I’d need to hurry through the course and return home. Brenda was there and would be pleased if I got back sooner rather than later.

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Archers mingling in front of the range

Because I rushed I wouldn’t be around for awards. I’d been shooting pretty good and thought I might have earned a place among the top archers. Norman let me know he’d heard my score that was much lower than I’d anticipated, so missing the awards wasn’t going to hurt.

I said my goodbyes and headed back to Hertford, NC. Shortly afterwards I heard from Norman. He’d asked for a recount of my totals. The new count improved my score by 30 points and moved me into second place. It was good news and Norman let me know that for the second time, he’d collected my trophy. Thank you, Norman!

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Brenda and I would be back on the road  on Saturday. I still had a race to complete in Preston, Maryland on Sunday. The stop in NC and the tournament in Elizabeth City was well worth the effort. The friends and fellowship among this group is pleasant and made for an excellent evening regardless of the competitive results.