Brenda, our two dog and I took a short camping trip to the mountains. Less than 2 hours from our home in Good Hope we ended at Don Carter State Park near Helen, Georgia.
The Don Carter State Park is on Lake Lanier and is the newest of the Georgia State Parks. It is in a great location, on the Lake and close to Helen and Dahlonega. Both towns are about a thirty minutes drive from the campground.
The park has nice boat ramps and 8 miles of paddling trails. We didn’t bring kayaks on this trip but next time the boats are coming along. There are 12.5 miles of trails which River, my lab, and I spent hours investigating. More than once we walked up on deer. I was glad we didn’t cross paths with any bear.
Even though the trip was short we learned that camping nearby could offer a change of scenery and easy access to trails, water, and cool Georgia towns.
Slowly spring is coming. There was a bit of a struggle during the past few days and it was cold. It has starting warming up, and– hopefully – the struggle is over.
Practicing at 60 yards in the cold sucks. As practice continued to grind the temperature slowly climbed. As it warmed apparel was removed. The little outdoor heater was cranked off and the gloves came off.
Despite the warming I still shot poorly. Far too many 8s. Still the outdoor season is young and the first 50-meter tournament is not until May.
Every day I try to get some rest. Part of it comes at night. By 10:00 PM I want to be asleep because I’m awake at 05:30 AM. I don’t use an alarm, I just wake up. I’m even awake before my dogs. If I’ve gotten a full day of training and practice in I’m not waking up during the night. Some days that’s not possible and I’m still more likely than not to sleep straight through the night.
Sleep is amazingly important. In my opinion so are naps. As an athlete you may find that you need a lot of sleep. More sleep can mean a better performance. Sleep is part of my training program.
Recently, a top archer was asking for advice to help with muscle soreness and joint pain. He’d been ramping up his training and was paying a price – that price being delayed onset muscle soreness. Aside from many of the initial remedies that came to mind as he explained his ailments, rest was the first thing that came to mind. Other than cutting back practice a bit, ensuring proper recovery time, the right amount of sleep is paramount for a successful training plan.
I take a nap nearly everyday after lunch. Not long, only about 30 minutes and most of that I just lay still with my eyes closed. I never go into REM sleep.
Over time, my dogs have joined in the naptime. They nap a lot, but napping with me seems to make them happy. It’s like the pack laying down together.
I lay on the floor when I nap. I don’t want to get on the bed, I’m too dirty and it is too comfortable. Thirty minutes on the floor is perfect. Afterwards, I’m up, reloaded for the afternoon workouts and have had a nice pause while my lunch digests.
You know, if you’re a frequent reader here, that I have a Labrador retriever, River. She’s with me a lot, most of the time actually. But, you may not know we have a little buddy, Nixie.
Nixie is a wire-haired dachshund. She’s a bit to low to the ground and short legged to keep up with River and I when we run. She never gets the stick that’s been tossed for River, but she never gives up trying. Nixie will even jump off docks to swim after sticks tossed for the big dog.
In the evenings when we take a walk through the woods it is a highlight of the wiener dog’s day. She comes along and for a short while she’s a big dog. Well, in her mind she’s always a big dog.