Streaking – As Associated with Running

Streaking, the first time I heard of it was associated with a form of running fad that occurred in the 1970s.  In this instance, it was a fad where runners would strip then run naked. Freely, I admit this was a form of running where I did not participate.

Several of my less modest friends did partake in the fad on one occasion. The group stripped, held their clothes in their arms and ran across Abercorn Street in Savannah, Georgia near the intersection with DeRenne Ave. It was  1972 and traffic in Savannah wasn’t comparable to the mess they have there today.

There is a median on Abercorn with two lines of traffic running in opposing directions.  The free form runners weren’t all that immodest and had selected a time for their streak near 11 PM when traffic, in those days, would be light. It seemed a fairly inoffensive plan.

The plan was to wait until there was no traffic, make the dash across Abercorn, and hop into a get-away car and escape. That would have been fine except for the mishap.

One of the runners, in his birthday suit, dropped his clothes as he crossed the median.  He had to stop turn back and retrieve them all while butt naked.  This is the point where traffic returned to the intersection.  There he was stranded until the traffic paused and he could return to running.

Streaking today, in running, means running daily for long stretches without a missed day.  Runner’s World’s covered highlights on page 30 in an article, Run Every Day – Streaking is more important than ever. (Issue 3, 2020)

Runner’s World also has a section in this issue on injuries.  Is that coincidence or consideration?

If you run every day without a recovery plan you’ll end up with an injury.  Obviously, you are probably an archer and you’re thinking you’ll not get a run injury.  You are probably correct – we know most of you are not runners. Simple observation during any archery tournament is all the verification one needs to confirm the bulk of archers are at best intermittent     walkers.  The walking primarily an activity associated with pulling arrows.

Surely, some of you do run.  Some of you probably get Runner’s World magazine.  Take my advice – schedule recovery days from your running.  If you’re an archer you should do the same with your archery training.

It is fun to set goals.  A goal of non-stop daily running (or shooting) could land you in rehab.  Rather than setting a run a day goal set other goals.  Once, I set a goal to do at least one race per month until something happened outside of my control to prevent a monthly race.  I went 84 months (7 years) before an accident happened that prevented me from racing.

I’d jumped off my boat to align the boat with the boatlift.  I’d done it many times before.  That time, however, I found a metal spike in the water – something new.  I found it in my leg.   That streak was done. It was a good long streak and I enjoyed it.  Aside from the metal spike in my leg I remained injury free throughout the plan. I did have weekly recovery days in my training plan.

Goals are nice to set.  But, there’s no reason to set goals that might lead to an overuse injury. Make time in your training plan for recovery.

The ASA State Qualifier that Wasn’t

The range at today’s Georgia ASA State 3D Championship qualifier was awesome.  On a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 is the most realistic set this one would have been a 5.  Another bonus is the shoot was only 30 minutes from where I live.  In fact, I’d had it on my calendar for months.

There was some doubt about going because of the Covid-10 problem. I went anyway and did my very best to social distance.

When I checked it I wore a mask and gloves.  I signed in with my own pen. I had triple checked that the event hadn’t been canceled before I took the time and chance to compete. It remained, un-canceled, on the list of qualifiers at the ASA website the night before the event.

A number of qualifiers had already been canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I wrote the ASA asking if a waiver for people wanting to compete in the State Championship might be warranted for 2020.  I didn’t get a reply. So, it was this qualifier or more than likely I’d have to skip the 2020 ASA State Championship.

There are two other state qualifiers still available aside from today’s.  Each has problems connected with attending.  One means a long drive that goes through Atlanta to get to west Georgia the other a longer drive that means an overnight stay. No, the one remaining shoot for a qualification to compete at the State Championship was the one today.

In 2017 I won an IBO State 3D Championship. The IBO has an age group that more narrowly fits my age bracket. The following 2 years, competing in the Senior Hunter Division under ASA rules I’ve taken 2 third places finishes.  Under the ASA rules I compete with archers of a broader age category.  I compete against archers whose ages more closely match my adult children’s ages. I don’t really mind the only handicap I have is vision looking at dark targets in dark holes.  As we age our eyes don’t pick up light as well.

The Covid-19 problem encouraged me switch my focus to 3D because those events are outside and more easily controlled for social distancing. Practices going into today’s event have been good.  The actual competition went well, too.  I ended up at 10.3 points per arrow.  Not great and not bad.  An average of 10.3 generally lands an archer in the Senior Hunter division in the top 4 or 5 spots and maybe higher at the State level.  When I got home I took the distances, I’d written them down after each shot, and found that the average yardage was 33.2 yards.

Turns out it didn’t really matter.  The tournament, I learned as I was leaving the event, was no longer an ASA qualifier.  It was a tremendous let down.  Thankfully, it was a short drive.

Archery: 10% Mental, 90% Trying Not to Quit

Even though Georgia’s Covid-19 restrictions have been eased I’m a bit hesitant to jump into the middle of a crowd.  In my mid-60s I fit into a high-risk category. Still, solo archery practice and training moves forward.

Today, I was thankful for being socially distance. In this way, no one other than the archer could view the 3D practice.  It was ugly.

It wasn’t like I hadn’t prepared. On yesterday, using my bow hunter rig, I worked on precise shooting.  The practice used tape measured distances moving from 20 yards to 45 yards in slow progression over and over and over.

The idea was that on today I’d work longer yardage aiming at foam animals.  The average distance was 36 yards with the minimum at 35 yards and the maximum at 45 yards.  Turns out that the 45-yard target was my best of the day, my only 12.  Aside from that I averaged a miserable 8.75 points per arrow for a score of 175.  Like I said – ugly.

41 yards – yes, ugly

Heck, 45 yards is a chip shot with a scope and long stabilizers.  At 50 meters (55 yards) I hold a state record using target style equipment.  In 3D I prefer using a hunting rig and competing in the hunter class.  This does mean I compete against archers that aren’t much older than my children. But, I don’t mind if they don’t. I do find that the younger guys here in Georgia are more inclined to pull the arrows, giving the old fellow a break. And, without exception good manners and “Sir” prevails in conversation. I do appreciate that even if it does, at times, remind my of he age difference.

If I’m going to shoot using a target bow then, for me, that is field and target archery.  In 3D, it is like playing using a hunter rig and in my opinion meets the spirit of its origin.

I know long distances using pins is killing me.  Long distances in 3D with low poundage and a short draw means my arrows float toward fake critters.  My calculated FPS is 243, so I need to be precise when I place the pin.  This is why on yesterday I worked specifically at aiming.

I’ll repeat it all tomorrow and the next day.  Because, I expect that in the near future I’ll be able to get back into a tournament. In the meantime, all anyone can do is stay focused and keep practicing.

A Little Better

Today’s 3D practice was just a little better than yesterday’s. The prior practice yielded an average points per arrow of 9.75.  Today the average was up by 0.85 points per arrow or 10.6 points per arrow.

While the increase in points seems good the kicker is the yardage was slightly less down from 34.3 to 32.4. At first glace it seemed like today’s yardage might have ended up closer to yesterday’s.  When I did the stats on today’s yardage I discovered the increase in score, 212 versus 195, is likely a result of the 1.9 yards on average closer to the targets.

Today the number of targets taken in the gap between pins was greater today.  Yesterday the distances that corresponded to pins was 14 out of 20.  Today, the pin alignment was good for 8 targets all others being in the gaps.

No matter it is nice to be able to go outside and shoot.

Trying to Focus on 3D

The Governor has made it clear that Georgians can go outside and play so long as they social distance, wear a mask, and stay indoors if you are 65 years old or older or have an underlying health condition.  I fall into the 65 and older group that seems more susceptible to Covid-19.

Archery tournaments aren’t about to keep people 6 feet apart.  3D archery has a better chance that folks can remain 6 feet apart.

There’s a Georgia ASA State Championship qualifier minutes away from where I live in a week.  So, do I take a chance, go to the qualifier, qualify, catch Covid-19 and end up dead?  If I end up dead I won’t be able to compete in the Georgia ASA State Championship.  Dead people never get to compete in archery.

In the meantime, I have found a sliver lining – my current practice scores suck.  Today, at an average distance of 34.3 yards (range 25 yards to 40 yards) I scored 195 on the 20 targets. That’s 9.75 points per arrows.  With an average like that I might as well hang out in the back yard and practice.  Perhaps, when I can comfortably return to competitive archery I’ll have that average a tad higher.

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.