It Is 99° Out There

This morning’s practice was easy.  Pretend tournament practice – sort of.  Rather than shooting ends of 6 this session called for ends of 10.  This drill works on endurance.

Scoring is 70 arrows rather than 72.  Of the 70 arrows the score per 10 arrow ends are averaged.  Once the average is taken the average per arrow is multiplied by 72 to give an approximate score for a 72-arrow tournament.

Unlike the real event 20 arrows are used for a warm up rather than 18.  Let downs are counted in the total but not included as a miss.  It takes more energy to let down than to release so that energy isn’t wasted by not included the shot.

Including those let downs the total morning practice was 95 arrows.  During the time on the range the temperature reached 94°F. Yesterday the temperature in the afternoon peaked at 101°.  The 94° temperature felt cool by comparison.

Yesterday the total arrows shot (excluding let downs) was for 90 arrows in the morning and 30 in the afternoon. Today, the afternoon arrow count was 100 arrows.

The increase is to build endurance. The afternoon drill was to shoot 100 arrows at a shorter distance, 40 yards, and keep them all in the yellow rings.  The drill adds a step: the arrows are shot fairly fast.  Fast enough to get a nice pace going but not so fast arrows land in the red.  At least that was the plan.

Admittedly, I hit the red a few times.  Of the ten 10 arrow ends I only had 2 clean ends.  My worst end landed 3 arrows in the red.  The drill focuses on endurance.  It is a good work out.  When it was over I was sweating like the pig that knows its dinner.

There was a good reason for the sweat.  I noticed the temperature when I came inside – the air conditioning felt cold set at 78°. Outside it was 99°. Toasty.

 

 

Georgia Field Archery Championship

The Georgia Bowhunters and Archery Association help is 2022 Field Archery Championship in Savannah, Georgia June 11 – 12.  The Ogeechee Bowmen hosted the event.

Field archery is fun. You have the opportunity to shoot a lot of arrows.  This, of course, means it is going to take all day to complete the event and you have to shoot a lot of arrows over two days.

In June is Savannah it is going to be hot.  It was hot.

This was my first field archery tournament shooting an Olympic recurve.  In field archery, if you miss a target you can end up losing an arrow.  I didn’t want to take a chance shooting Easton X-10 arrows which, when built cost me around $45.00 each.  I decided to get some Black Eagle Intrepid arrows which run around $60.00 per dozen. If I missed a target and lost one of those it wouldn’t hurt as much as losing an Easton X-10.

I also put together an inexpensive beginner bow, a Galaxy riser and Galaxy limbs.  On that bow I used a beginner sight and entry-level stabilizers.  The aperture was a made in China copy of a decent US aperture which needed to be modified to come close to working.

It really is a cheap rig that vibrates so badly I need to check that all the blots and screws are holding after a few shots.  I didn’t want to use my nice bow because I didn’t want to fool with tuning and re-tuning to accommodate the arrows.

Even with the entry-level equipment versus my good stuff I shot pretty good.  But, I doubt I’ll use the cheap stuff in 2023.

I shot against the young fellows and ended up just taking the win by 1 point.  It was exciting.

Gator Cup

I got lucky with my Airbnb rental.  My last trip to Newberry was awful.  The prior trip to Newberry for the Indoor Nationals that Airbnb was how I’d consider what it must be like to attempt to sleep during a prison riot.  The Gator Cup Newberry Airbnd was just about perfect.

This rental was a camper, larger than my old camper, situated in the middle of watermelon fields and cattle pastures.  It was quiet, comfortable and minutes away from the event.

During the tournament I’d gotten my sleep, nutrition and hydration right.  I shot well during the qualifier and ended 7th which bought me a bye for the Olympic round.

The 1/8 elimination round had me shooting against a fellow that spoke Spanish. As a result we didn’t do any talking.  He took the first of five to lead off in his favor 2 to 0. I tied the next making the score 3 to 1 in his favor.  I won the next tying us at 3 to 3.  I took the next and led by two winning before winning the next end to move into the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinal I ended up losing a very tight match 6 to 4.  I had a liner on the last end requiring a judge’s magnifying lenses to call the shot a 9 for the loss.  The other archer and I had on the end before shot all arrows in the gold.

As it turned out that opponent ended up winning with a 6 to 2 score.  Of the eight archers remaining in the quarterfinals it might have ended differently had I not landed next to the eventual winner. Who knows?

What I did learn is the first three shots are really important.  It is probably harder coming from behind.

Arrows, Arrows and More Arrows

In a video a former Olympic archery shared how many arrows he shot per year.  He had an average of 226 arrows per day.  That doesn’t seem too bad.

I shoot a lot.  I don’t average 226 arrows per day.  My average is 130 arrows per day.  Some days there are less other days more.  I’m taking my time.

Over doing it from the start can lead to injuries.  Since I’m 67 years old I am perhaps more careful.  Well, I know I’m more careful today than I might have been if I’d started shooting an Olympic recurve at 17 years old.

60 meters

It hasn’t been 24 months since I picked up an Olympic recurve.  At 60 meters and 18 meters I’ve improved 0.5% per month since I began.  In few weeks I’ll do a lot more practice at 70 meters.  There’s minimal difference in my practice average points per arrow between 60 and 70 meters.

70 meters

I’ll also be gradually increasing my arrow count.

Throughout this process I have maintained 25% recovery time compared to training time.  After longer days I ice my hands, forearms and shoulders.  The goal being to prevent a long-term injury.

Georgia Cup

Arrow count isn’t a goal it is part of a process.

Shoot Fast, Circumvent Near Disaster

Often I hear archers discussing their version of target panic.  Generally, their woes go in one ear and out the other. I don’t try to chip in a remedy.  But, at the last Georgia Cup I earned a panic that I didn’t accept.

I needed a bio-break.  Of course, my target was number 2, the only target further away from the rest room was target 1.  Four minutes to make the hike, about 80 yards total, get some relief and return is plenty of time. I’d actually measured the time it took prior to the tournament starting.

Half way through the 72 arrow tournament I needed a break. The A/B line was next up and being on the C/D line no problem.

Things can go slow during an archery tournament where children are competing. Arithmetic is their downfall.  I’ve suggested before if your children are at an archery tournament to practice math skills you have them at the wrong venue.  Judges:  it would really speed things up if children have adult volunteers to help with adding. Assuming the adult volunteers are better at math than the children.

It often takes so long I rely on the official timer to remember which line is up.  I’d watched the timer when I decided to make a dash to the bathroom. On the timer A/B was illuminated.  I asked, “Is A/B up next?” The response, “That’s what the timer shows.” No problem. I kept my eye on the timer until I entered the restroom.

Walking out of the restroom I noticed there was 187 seconds left on the timer, which read C/D.  I knew I’d not been in the restroom more than a minute.  All I could do was not panic, jog to my bow, walk to the line and shoot 6 arrows, which by the time I arrived on the line read 127 seconds.

Getting ready I said to the person I’d asked regarding A/B display, “What happened to A/B?” He said, “They changed it.”

Sometimes I practice for just such an event.  I’ll shoot 10 arrows as fast as I can.  Generally, it is at 40 yards, not 60 meters. It takes arrows longer to go 60 meters than it does 40 yards.  But, 6 rushed arrows are better than 6 misses  – which would be my score if I didn’t try.

My first arrow flew at 117 seconds remaining on the timer.  My last arrow, the sixth landed with 33 seconds on the timer.  I wasn’t even the last archer on the line!  I scored 45 points out of 60, my worst end.  Six arrows in 84 seconds or 14 seconds per arrow. (My average to shoot 6 arrows in 26 seconds per arrow)

Having had practiced for such an occasion paid off.  No panic.  Just do what I’d practiced.  At the end of the day I won.

Am I The Only One Tired

Last night with had dinner with friends.  Everyone attending is a natural athlete with the possible exception of me. Honestly, these people are amazingly fit.

The group was mixed regarding sports.  The group contained a rock climber, a cyclist, two runners, a yoga instructor and me. All of these athletes are older that 62 years of age. Everyone had trained before dinner.  I think I was the only person there who was tired.

I do train hard.  At least it is hard for me.  Unless I’d taking a day specifically allocated as a recover day I shoot my Olympic recurve ((43.6# draw weight) two to six hours a day.  The six-hour days are rare as are the two-hour days. When I’m shooting I burn about 320 calories per hour.  Less than half of what I’d burn riding a bicycle or running.

I run and ride nearly everyday.  I break that up into two sessions.  I run in the morning after a 30-minute stretch and ride for 30 – 60 minutes in the mid-afternoon before my second practice shooting a bow.  It is rare to miss the 30-minute stretch and rare not to run. Some days I do miss cycling despite it being part of my training play. That typically occurs when some ‘can’t be put off any longer’ chore infringes on the time. I also lift weights two to three days per week.  To wear me out even more I train with a speed rope four time per week doing so after running.

With all that effort you’d think I might be tired from time to time. You would be correct.  But, the people at this dinner party didn’t seem phased by their athletic efforts.

The 63-year-old rock climber looked as if he could start climbing a wall without breaking a sweat.  The yoga instructor and cyclist seemed full of energy.  The runner looked as if she could head out for a marathon after dessert.  The other runner gave me frequent looks of understanding and pity. I felt like a nap would be nice.

To make is worse I wasn’t even the oldest in the crowd.  Two of these athletes are older than me.  One fellow in the mid 70’s probably has a 4% fat content and could run circles around me.  I have a 12% body fat content. When I raced I was down to 6%.  Thanks, archery.

I shouldn’t blame archery.  I blame the reduction in the level of cardio training I now do.  But, 12% body fat is considered athletic.  I don’t feel athletic, I feel tried.

In order to get the correct amount of the right caloric intake per day I record everything I eat and drink as input and all exercise is recorded as output.  Nothing every changes.

The athletes eating dinner I expect eat what they want and as much as they want.  Heck, the rock climber consumed more than double my portions.

Over the last 9.5 days of training I averaged 190 arrows per day.  This morning the schedule was for 90 arrows.  I stopped at 52.  I was too tired and my average score per arrow was awful.  I consider working through the fatigue then threw in the towel. I has been four days since my last full recover day.

During dinner I didn’t have much to say.  I was too tired to talk.  There was plenty of conversation around me so I politely smiled and provided approving monosyllable grunts. All the while being envious of the energy I didn’t have to share.

I writing this now because I cut the morning practice short. Once I’m done I’ll have lunch and that nap.

 

Move That Sight

At the 2016 NC ASA State Championship, in Mt. Airy, shooting a compound bow my arrows were all shooting to the left.  In my group was the eventual winner of the division.  He’s won a lot of tournaments, been a National Champion, Shooter of the Year, and has a stack of other championships.  In fact, I competed with and against him numerous times.  He offered me some simple advice, “Move your sight.”  I didn’t listen.

I figured the off-shots were me and that I’d gain control then begin hitting 10s and 12s rather than 10s and 8s and any moment.  I never did and walked away 5th. If I’d only listened.

During that NC ASA State Championship I was still very new to archery. I’d been shooting for 32 months.  I wasn’t at all comfortable fidgeting with my sight during a tournament. Today, that is different.

Time to twist a knob

I’ve also put down my compound bow for an Olympic recurve bow. Using that bow I’ll twist the sight knobs without a qualm.

That’s better

Adjusting your sight isn’t something that needs to be done on every shot.  If you fling a bad arrow it really might be you not the sight.  But, shoot enough and you’ll feel when it is you versus the need to make an adjustment.

Measure and Manage

On a weekly basis I use one day to replicate an archery tournament. For example, the next event on my calendar is the Georgia Cup.  I’ll shoot that tournament in the 50-year-old division at a distance of 60 meters.  That’s the practice tournament done this week – 60 meters.

During the week I’ll shoot hundreds of arrows ranging on a daily basis from 60 arrows to 200 arrows.  The maximum will eventually work up to 300 arrows per day.  The most I’ve shot in a day is 400 and I may go for a 500-arrow day this year.  For now, however 200 is my daily maximum.

Flinging arrows is good for stamina and control.  It aids in working on specific matters of form.  The practice tournament is a way to measure progress. The outcome further helps in determining adjustments for the subsequent week’s training plan.

Aside from recording the score I record the time remaining on the shot clock.  Reviewing those times versus the end’s score is important to ensure relaxed shooting during an event.  It eliminates needing to watch the clock.  It is much like an NFL quarterback who knows there is 25 seconds to receive the hike. It is a method of comparing time versus score.

If I add calories, such as a sport drink or some solid calories I record that as well.

Having a solid understand of performance during a mock-tournament will help during the real thing.

Help Getting Ready to 2022 Outdoor Archery

“The light was bad”

“My arm hurt”

“The arrows were wrong”

“By bow is out of tune”

“The guy next to me kept taking”

“My release felt funny”

“My cams weren’t right”

“My sight must have slipped”

“My wife has me working on a honey-do list and I haven’t been able to practice”

“I need a Hoyt so I can shoot better”

“I need an Elite so I can shoot better”

“I need (which ever bow it is that isn’t in your hand) so I can shoot better”

“I need fatter arrows”

“I should have the green pin rather than the red pin”

“I had fried chicken grease on my hand and my release slipped out of my hand” (Yes I actually heard this one)

 

 

New Target

122 cm targets aren’t cheap.  Used ones, those used in a tournament and not too badly holed, sell for $5.00 each.  New 122 cm vinyl targets run $10.00 to $12.00.  The fancy 122 cm targets with a pocketed ring to fit it snuggly on a target butt run around $20.00.  All of them wear out fast.

It is nice to replace them.  By the time a new target is up the old one is literally shot to pieces.

Here goes another $20.00.