River’s Friends

In the past, I’ve mentioned I run a lot. I also ride and bike and swim. During the coldest winter months running takes a lead over cycling and swimming. Nearly every morning I’ll head out for a run. On these runs my partner is a dog, River. Once I’ve finished running I’ll shoot while River has a swim and takes a nap. Today, while running River came upon her friends.

On one of the roads where we run there are a lot of dogs. Many of them are “free-range” animals and are happy to see River as she runs past. They’ll trot out to greet her with a sniff and romp.

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River, the darker Lab, being greeted by a friend

I keep running while the friends exchange updates. The canine compadres continue to enjoy each other’s company until I get a few hundred yards down the road. River keeps an eye on me and once I get a ways off, she’ll sprint to catch up. Her crew frequently comes along for the adventure.

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Game on!

Occasionally, I’ll pause to take a photograph, scratch her friends’ ears, pat their sides and take my licks. She hangs with a good crowd that includes a German Shepherd, two Labrador Retrievers, a Golden Retriever, a couple of Jack Russell terriers, a bulldog, and a number of beagles.

Today one of her best friends completed most of the run with us. We’ve watched her grow up. She is well mannered and is always happy to see us. It was a nice run and great to catch up with a good friend.

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Good friends

 

Dealing with the cold and wind

Today training was a 6.2-mile run and an easy day of shooting. Neither session was difficult and would have been simple minus the cold and wind. The temperature during my run wasn’t that horrendous. At 30° F (-1° C) while wearing warm clothes this is not a difficult run. In the afternoon I’d have a short workout with my bow.  Both sessions, would not have been a problem except for the wind.

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The optimistic start of a 10K run

All day we had white caps coming off the river. After running all I wanted was a hot tub in which to thaw. The wind had cut through my running apparel as if it weren’t there giving my convective heat loss a very personal impression.

Along the run, River, my dog heedless to the cold broke through iced covered creeks in order to play in the water. Following the run she even jumped into the river. I suppose it is a Labrador thing.

Shooting was another matter. I’d only be shooting for only 15 to 20 minutes. Like all sports, archery needs recover time. For this workout I’d be shooting from unknown distances into a foam deer. It also meant I’d have the house to help block the wind.

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Despite the house’s blockade the wind was a chilling factor. Unlike my home in Maryland I don’t have access to an indoor range here in North Carolina. There is an advantage to being able to step outside and shoot. On cold and windy days – well I take the good with the bad.

Wild day on the river

Each morning, while having coffee, I walk out to my dock. Lately, eagles have been using it as a dining table. Today was no different. Before I got to the dock River was already they’re barking. She was letting me know eagles had just left and not finished their meal of duck.

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“Get out here – look what the eagle left! can I have it?”

When I found the partially eaten duck, on the steps of my dock, I left it alone. Usually, I need to sweep away feathers or sometimes fur. This duck was fresh and knowing these big birds would want it, it remained untouched.

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Unfinished meal of duck

One of the eagles was sitting in a tree with his back to me. He seemed a bit put out over having his breakfast disturbed. They, or at least one of them, flew back later and finished the meal. I made certain our smaller dog, a wirehaired dachshund, stayed indoors. She weights 20 pounds, a hefty catch for an eagle, but I am not taking any chances. Brenda would not take it well if her dog became dinner.

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Leaving the eagles to their dining River and I headed for a run. It was only 5K today and she was full of pep staying ahead of me all the way. Afterwards I got in some decent archery practice. All the while the eagles flew overhead, looking for a small dog I suppose.

Getting outside in January

A few hours after shooting today, following lunch and a short nap, it was time to run. The weather remained less than excellent, but it was not raining – at the moment.

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My Rudy Project shooting glasses have more than one function.

One thing for certain is that where I train is beautiful. It is common to see eagles above our river, in the woods, and at times in our yard. Yesterday, we had two in the trees beside our house.

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With all the rain the little creeks that led to the larger river were over flowing. River, my full time running partner, jumped in nearly every creek we passed.

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Shooting and running outside in the winter can be a challenge. But, if you are like me and enjoy being outdoors, you will find a way to get there.

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A cold, wet and windy run.

The weather has played havoc with my training. The cold, wind and rain have been relentless. Today, I wasn’t able to shoot outside.  My friends that have an indoor range had other matters that keep them from shooting so I had no where to shoot. Alas, I’d run despite the adverse climatic conditions.

Lately, I’ve been competing in shorter events, 5K runs. Five kilometers is quick, the pain is over shortly after starting and they don’t take all day. But, I am running in a longer event, a ½ marathon, in April so it is time to increase my mileage.

The rain decreased to a light misty drizzle so I took that as my chance to run. The run was only a 10K. The wind was coming off the river and for the first 5K I’d have the wind to my back.

Heading out, that first half of the run felt great. With the wind to my back and wearing plenty of clothing to stay warm, I worked up a sweat. Then, I turned for the 5K-leg home. Sweat gets cold fast.

Some people enjoy the cold. I expect many of my friends in more northern latitudes would have made the 31°F run in shorts and a light jacket. Not me, I wore several shirts, a super heavy jacket, gloves, a thick cap, and dense long cycling tights.

The wind would have felt worse on a bike. In fact, I’d considered cycling, but my training plan called for a run. Still, the gale force wind did its best to stop me in my tracks.

I’ll admit it was great to get outside. An hour back from the run I was taking a nap. I never did get around to shooting. I didn’t thaw until around 4 PM. My toes are just coming around.

Tomorrow doesn’t look much better. Nevertheless, I’ll be out there – running.

Another good day of eating, shooting, football and running.

We drove into Washington, Georgia for lunch today. In the afternoon, it was time to practice, watch football and run.

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One of the many fine old Southern homes in Washington

The Talk of the Town Café, in Washington, is one of our local favorites; they serve gourmet “sammiches”, burgers, soups, salads and more for lunch. They also have specialty coffees, wine and great desserts. Today, we piled in for the Sunday buffet, which is a feast of great Southern food. Sadly, one plate is all I can handle. I expect I am one of the few people that eat the buffet and the café makes money.

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Talk of the Town Cafe

When we returned to Tignall I napped through the first quarter of the Falcons versus the Saints.   Too bad the Falcons haven’t played they way they did today all year. If they had there’d likely be a lot of happier Atlanta fans.

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Since we’re hunting tomorrow I sighted and practiced with my Mathews ZXT. Man, that is one nice short bow. I am temped to use it in the 3D tournament on Jan 4th.

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I finished the day’s activities running with River. We headed down a dirt road then turned onto trails that led into the woods. As it got dark sooner (today being the shortest day of the year) we left the woods while we could safely run out.

Another good day of eating, shooting, football and running. Not bad, not bad at all.

In Georgia to: hunt, run, bike, kayak, and shoot 3D

Brenda and I made it to Tignall, GA. With us we brought two mountain bikes – we both ride and the land we hunt, 679 acres, has great trails for bikes. I brought two bows, my Mathews Apex 7 and Mathews ZXT, one for a tournament and one for hunting. Our two dogs, River and Nixie, of course made the trip.

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“Are we there, yet?”

Upon arrival, I unpacked, while Brenda helped her dad, Ray, prepare an early dinner. It was too late to shoot, and dark, so after dinner River and I headed out for a run.

Here the terrain is rolling hills. We’d not gone 100 yards when River tore out after deer. The deer are everywhere, here. But, my hunt objective is wild pigs. The pigs that run wild here are abundant. What I am hoping to get is a couple of small gilts, which I think are best for eating.

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Trail cam from October

The after dinner run felt great after being stuck in the truck for eight hours. A bonus was that it was not cold. A friend, Chris back in Maryland, who is an archer and runner had posted that the temperature was 28° F. It was 52°F when I ran this evening.

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We’re here for the next few weeks. I am looking forward to hunting, running, cycling and kayaking. The trip will be topped off spending Christmas with our oldest daughter and her family in Winder. Then off to Social Circle, Georgia for the Buckeye 3D tournament.

Renovations, shooting and running

Renovations of our property in New Hope, NC (Hertford) are coming along.  I’d like it finished so we can get on with our permanent move here and begin to have a bit more of a routine.  We don’t always get what we want and life at the moment is anything other than routine.

That doesn’t mean training is tossed.  One of the many nice things about living in NC is that I can walk out my back door and shoot.   I can also head out for a run and not be bothered by traffic or being leased to my dog, River.

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Busted arrows making good marking distances on the right of the photo

Today’s archery practice started by measuring, using a tape measure, distances in five-yard increments beginning at 20 yards and ending at 50 yards.  My pins for 45 and 50 yards are not exactly how I’d like them.  Basically, that means for 45 yards place the bottom pin just above the X and for 50 yards – guess.

At around 3:00 PM I decided to head out early for a run. In part because the weather was nice and I’d enjoy running in the daylight compared to the dusk or dawn runs I’ve been doing.  And, in part because the tolerance for adjusting my pins had reached a maximum level of patience and control. River, naturally, was up for the run and we left River Cove Lane and headed toward New Hope Road.

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During the run we encountered a school bus so River had to wear her leash until the coast was clear.  Other than that one bus, there wasn’t another vehicle of any sort to molest our run.

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With the house a construction site being outside is the best way to spend the day.  Shooting and running are well-suited pursuits for North Carolina.  I’d hoped to get in a bike ride, alas, I have no idea where my cycling shoes and helmet are packed.

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Great place to run

 

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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