Taking a Pause from Competition

The photographs posted of archery tournaments indicate social distancing is merely a suggestion at these events.  At 65 years old I’d like to avoid that asymptotic 28-year-old shedding Covid-19 while standing next to me.

Sure, I can play the odds and expect to win by not getting sick.  Honestly, I suspect I’ve already had the bug.  At this point I simply don’t know whether or not I carry the antibody.

Here’s the thing, if I do catch the Covid-19 I run a greater risk of sharing it with family and friends all over 70 and none in excellent health.  When I suspected Brenda and I had contracted the virus we stayed clear of everyone.  Our symptoms were so mild it is impossible to know for certain without being tested – at this point for the antibody.

So, for now, I am taking a break from competition.

Some Things You Just Can’t Control

3D is likely done for 2020 for me.  That’s a shame. I enjoy 3D and will continue to practice on my range.  However, the one qualifier within my means turned out not to be a qualifier.  It is now time to switch gears and go back to dots.

Covid-19 resulted in several of the State’s qualifiers being canceled. 3D seems a good way to compete and kept some distance between each other. Admittedly, I considered the situation as it related to sports and 3D came up a winner.

American is big.  When we see the huge numbers of US  Covid-19 cases compared to other countries it seems alarming.  No one wants to get sick or get the virus and pass it along to someone else that may end up in worse shape thanks to the sharing. We’ve got a lot of cases in the US. We’ve got more than any other country.  This is where you can pause and consider the size of the other countries.

For example, Sweden has roughly the same population as Georgia.  The Covid-19 cases are also roughly the same. The Florida has roughly the same population as the Netherlands.  The Florida and the Netherlands have 40,982 and 42,788 cases of Covid-19, respectively.  The Netherlands does have more deaths associated with Covid-19 than does Florida. You get the point, the US is large and some states have populations that are country sized. Still we all want to be careful.

This is especially true for me at 65, my wife at 66 and my father-in-law, who we visit weekly who is 91. We don’t want to get Covid-19 and we don’t want to pass it around. 3D seems like a great way to get outdoors and have potentially less exposure to the virus than grocery shopping.

The Covid-19 put a huge hole in my archery plans.  I made adjustments to focus exclusive on 3D for the viral period of social distancing. I’d focus on the Georgia State ASA Championship.  During this Covid time a number of State ASA 3D Championship qualifiers were canceled. This began to make me a bit nervous.  Luckily the one I intended to shoot remained available.

Attending that qualifying event after weeks of practice I shot one of my better scores in the hunter division.  On the 19thtarget I learned this qualifier was officially no longer a qualifier despite the listing at the ASA webpage claiming otherwise.

Years ago I was competing at the Dick Lane Velodrome in East Point, Georgia in a USA Cycling State Championship.  I’d won the pursuit and the kilo.  After the races just prior to the awards one of the USA Cycling officials announced the Championships would not be awarded.  She claimed one the required forms remained un-submitted and everyone would need to return in a few weeks to do it all over.

All winners and medalist screamed suggesting she submit the form and then apply the results.  We’d all been under the impression throughout the day’s events we were competing in a Championship – as we’d been told. The official refused to live up to the spirit of the games.

I couldn’t come back in few weeks.  Instead, I was going to be competing at the USA Cycling National Championships in Fresno, Texas.  I got 8th at the Nationals in the pursuit and would have preferred the Gold Medal in Georgia. (I scratched the kilo being called to Washington for a meeting with the FDA) These were races where one second can separate 1st place from 8th place. They are hard to win.

The ASA State Qualifier felt the same way – disappointing.  I won the division by 11 points.  It didn’t matter much like the Georgia cycling event.  It became basically a fun shoot.

They ended up combining all hunter groups since I was probably the only Senior Hunter competing (those archers over 50). I ended up grouped with 11 other archers all who are quite good.

I copied and pasted the results. I X’ed out the other athletes names since I didn’t ask them if I could post their result even though they are posted online elsewhere.

I am pleased with my score from the event.  Hoping to find something else to shoot as a qualifier I checked the ASA website to see if there was another qualifier within my ‘day’ drive radius and the answer was no.  You can bet in the future I’ll be shooting the first qualifier within my drive radius in 2021.

I could haul the camper to the next event and spend the weekend there.  It remains a consideration.  It comes down to the budget.  It would be an extra expense outside my financial plans in the range of $300.00. ($271.00 approximately)

It must be hard for Olympians having to wait another year to compete at the Summer Games in Tokyo. That isn’t as bad as President Carter’s boycott of the Summer Games in Moscow in 1980.

Over the decades I’ve competed in 100s of sporting events.  I was even fortunate enough to represent the USA as a Team member during a World Championship.  However, it doesn’t matter to me if the event is a World Championship, the Olympics, or a State Championship when something occurs that means it is no longer possible to compete. It is a let down.

While competing at the USA Masters National Indoor Track and Field Championship I faulted out of an event I was about to win.  That didn’t bother me as much as it would have had some situation prevented me for competing.  In fact, I’ve competed globally and only in Georgia has some unforeseen occurrence held me back from winning or qualifying. Faulting out during competition is my error and it was an error I knew might be a problem for me.

(A taller running I was trying to pass kept swinging his elbow toward my nose. He’d already hit me a number of time. He knew exactly what he was doing. It was 3000 meters and we had less than 100 meters before the finish. The officials disapproved of my passing remedy.)

What I can do is make new plans for 2020 and look forward to outdoor target archery beginning in July.

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.

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.

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.

Social Distance 3D Game

I’d been upstairs at my desk working out a plan.  The plan completed I headed downstairs. My wife, Brenda, was sitting on a couch in our sunroom trying to watch a recording of “48 Hours” as I passed through on my way outside. “I made a game, I’ll be out back shooting if you need me,” I explained.  Brenda, remote control in hand aimed at the television responded with a bored, “Okay.”

Brenda and I are in our mid-60’s.  We’re not interested in testing our immune systems against the Covid-19 even though I suspect we’ve already done so and passed. We don’t know for sure if we’ve had the virus and getting a test to discover whether or not we’re loaded with the proper antibodies remains undone. So, we social distance and find ways to break the boredom.

The social distancing is more of a burden for Brenda than it is for me.  Many of the sport activities I enjoy, over the years, have become exercises I can do alone.  Brenda, on the other hand, teaches yoga.  Her yoga studio is closed and she’s less inclined to practice yoga solo than I am to run, ride, and shoot without company.

The created game I’d made was simple: Twenty 3D targets, no warm up, score and review.

Target 1: Black Bear at 34 yards
Target 2: Turkey at 32 yards
Target 3: Badger at 30 yards
Target 4: Bobcat at 20 yards
Target 5: Mosquito at 20 yards
Target 6: Mountain Lion at 40 yards
Target 7: Coyote at 30 yards
Target 8: Cinnamon Bear at 40 yards
Target 9: Buck at 35 yards
Target 10: Hen at 25 yards
Target 11: Rabbit at 20 yards
Target 12: Turkey butt at 25 yards
Target 13: Small boar at 27 yards
Target 14: Javelina at 32 yards
Target 15: Deer at 40 yards
Target 16: Medium boar at 35 yards
Target 17: Deer at 40 yards
Target 18: Cinnamon Bear, again at 40 yards
Target 19: Mountain lion, again at 40 yards
Target 20: coyote at 20 yards

You might think,’why not take a warm-up?’ Well, most of the time I do warm-up.  Prior to a tournament or scoring practices, I’ll shoot a dozen or so arrows at various known distances to verify my sightings for the lighting and loosen up my arms and shoulders. However, there have been tournaments where a warm-up might not have been possible for one reason or another. Not having a warm-up is one of the situations you can plan for and practice for when it does occur.

This is how it panned out

I ended up with a score of 202. The average per arrow was 10.1 points. An average of 10.1 might sound good, but to win at many tournaments in the Senior Hunter division 10.4 is a minimum required for a top 3 finish.  There are times when 10.8 points per arrow average is needed to be in one of the top positions.

Senior hunter division, for anyone who does not know, means short stabilizer and pins used for sighting.  You shoot a ‘hunting’ style bow setup. The maximum distance, for ASA, is 40 yards. The IBO counterpart is 35 yards.

You can see on the score paper photo two dots next to ‘Deer Old’ and ‘Med Boar.’ On those shots, a 12 and a 10, respectively, the dots represent absolutely lucky shots.  The arrows could have just as easily have been a miss.  With both, the shot went off at a point where I’d lost my focus. I had been holding for the release and my mind sort of went blank.  Not that good kind of alpha one brainwave pattern blank, the bad kind of mental blackout.

The ‘C’ next to the last target means 12 points for a center ring.  The last target is such a small coyote that, prior to scoring, made the determination to go with a center 12.

Reviewing the targets you might notice how I’ve  tried to make them interesting.  Many of them are surrounded by trees that create a higher degree of difficulty. Still, there are enough of the long open shots to match up with what we see during competition. There’s also an abundance of small targets.  The population of small targets is purely the result of target pricing.

I need to shoot a few of the targets more than once to get 20 shots.  On those I take a different angle so I’m not simply repeating the prior shot. I only have 16 3D targets.  I have space for four more.  Perhaps, those potential new targets will appear after my US Economic Stimulus money arrives.

Keeping the average distance and average score per arrow up, in both instances, is tough with the abundance of small targets on the range.  In this case the average distance was 31.25 yards.  Shooting small targets, like mosquitoes, badgers and rabbits, at long yardages is unrealistic.  First, I’ll probably never see them in a major event and second I’m running short on 3D arrows.  I only have 8 remaining functional 3D arrows. No point in taking a chance on wasting an arrow.

The javelina is small and it was set at a distance of 32 yards for this game.  I will shoot the javelina out to 40 yards a lot.  That little target seems to be a favorite used to show off real estate. A couple of years ago I did see the badger at 40 yards over in North Carolina.  I’ve not seen the badger since. The javelina, on the other hand, will pop-up at maximum range, secured on a log, in some dark hole, there to embarrass you every weekend.

I haven’t bought any new 3D arrows in three years.  Over the course of 36 months I’ve lost a few and broken more.  This past week I lost the tips out of four arrows, left behind when I pulled the arrow free of foam.  I had two tips in my shed among surplus archery parts and those have been loaded. There are two more arrows without a tip.  Getting a couple of tips will bring me to 10 useable arrows.

In 3D you only need one arrow most of the time.  Occasionally, you will lose a tip, get your arrow broken by another archer, and rarely fire off a miss then bye bye arrow.  The biggest problem in creating this dwindling pool of 3D arrows is, during practice, shooting more than one arrow at the same spot.  You do lose a lot of nocks that way as well as the intermittent Robin Hood which might cost you two arrows. Three years ago I had 24 3D arrows. Time to bite the nock and buy some more regardless of economic stimulus relief.

Granted, this was fun even if it isn’t as much fun as shooting with other folks.  But, it beats the heck out of trying to find something on TV to watch.

‘What to Wear’ (Running)

Okay, I’ve stolen the title for this article.  In fact, it took it off of the cover from Runner’s World Issue 4/2019.  Having received the magazine a few weeks ago it does puzzle me where the year on the cover reads 2019.  The calendar question isn’t what has prompted me to consider this writing.  It was the eye-catching promise of meaningful information delivered within the pages behind the cover.

The headlines on the cover of Runner’s World pledged “53 Surefire answers to one of running’s most enduring questions: What to Wear”.  The periodical suggests the information inside will educate readers on “How to choose the gear that helps you run faster, longer and stronger in any weather”.  Furthermore, RW offers “You’ll also love our revamped interactive ‘What to wear’ tool at runnersworld.com/what-to-wear.”

Seriously, I’m not kidding

I have been a runner all of my life.  Not always a runner that ran in order to race, but running has always been part of my sports training.  I have competed in more running races than I can remember even winning a few. But, running in general is an activity that prepares me for other sports. Winning a foot race for me has rarely been a primary goal.

For example, when I competed in triathlons running was the 3rd disciple on those events.  I had to run in a triathlon.  So, I trained as a runner.  The hope for a triathlon run was to lose a little ground as possible from my gains during the cycling segment of the event.

I’d enter a marathon and run it as part if my triathlon training.  Doing so was a fun way to train. On many occasions I get up ride my bike to a running race, do the race then ride the bike home.  That was part my multi-sport training.

This was a 10K or 1/2 marathon (I can’t remember which distance) 18 miles from our home in Easton, MD. I rode my bike there, did the race, then rode home.

In high school, when I played football, we ran to help with our conditioning.  During the offseason our coaches made us run track to stay on shape for the football season.  As a cyclist I ran every off-season.  Progressing from cycling to duathlons and next to triathlons I ran.  I have run for one reason or another for well over than half a century. This reference excludes the childhood bliss of running. That bliss remains available to me playing tag or racing my grandchildren.

“Let’s race Granddaddy,” is a common request and I almost always agree. Believe me, those kids can sprint! I am not ashamed to say that on more than one occasion following an afternoon of sprinting I have felt it the next day. And I know the competition is getting serious when their shoes come off.

Seeing the articles on Runner’s World I felt a surge of pride.  Not once over more than 6 decades did I ever show up for a run improperly dressed. Never in my life have I arrived at a training run wearing boots and a dress suit.  (I wear nice western style boots with my business attire) To be fair that would be stupid and no one else has ever done that either – almost.

While I’ve never run a foot race wearing boots a friend of mine once did.  It wasn’t planned.  In fact, he wasn’t  planning to run the race.  His daughter, then 10 years old, had entered a 5K.

He’d driven her to the race after coming home off a night shift.  He’d been called in to handle a case at the hospital where he is an anesthesiologist during the early hours before the Saturday race time. He was still dressed in scrubs and wearing cowboy boots when he made it home to take his daughter to the 5K. There wasn’t time to change his clothes before they departed for the start of the 5K.

Once at the race his daughter became intimidated by the mass of runners and was nervous about running in the crowd. She wanted to go home.  Rather than see his daughter’s 5K dream squashed he entered the race and ran with her – Luccheses and all.

This hasn’t happened to me – ever!

From a more practical standpoint, if run training is occurring when it was hot I dress in light attire and if the weather is cold I wear stuff to keep me warm.  I can’t recall ever being instructed on what to wear while running.  Certainly, I have never turned to a computer application for a pre-run tutorial on what to wear for the activity. So, I was surprised to learn that what to wear during a run is one of running’s more enduring questions.

Well, you might think, “Heck David, you live in the South where weather is generally pretty nice, and you don’t need to make difficult running attire decisions.”  If that question comes to your mind you are not 100% correct. Furthermore, the difficulty of the question isn’t much.

I have run in 49 States, 21 countries and 1 territory.  What’s more I’ve done it through all seasons in all types of weather.  I have run in February near the Artic Circle (Gällivare, Sweden)  and in August in Las Vegas.  I promise I did not wear the same gear for those dissimilar environments.  I assure you no one helped me get dressed.  Neither did I need the support of an interactive computer tool to know what to wear.  Aside from donning running attire I’ve been getting dressed pretty much unassisted since I was a child.

There have been a few times when my wife did object to my choice of clothes prior to some social gathering.  The question so many of us have heard, “You’re not wearing that are you?” has happened to me.  Those situations were ones of preference not function.

Opening the pages of Runner’s World there is an article by an expert at putting on his running clothes (page 12).  He advocates: Eyewear – $165.00, hat – $32.00, Airpods – $159.00, shorts – $42.00, briefs – $36.00, cool down footwear – $50.00. Not accounting for his actual running shoes the price tag comes to $484.00.  Add a pair of shoes (page 93) at $155.00 and socks (page 44) $20.00 dressing for a warm weather run could cost $659.00.  Dang, that seems like a lot of money and the total still doesn’t cover a shirt.  The expert dresser had forgotten about a shirt during his advising column. I found one  for him on page 41 for $55.00.  The grand total is now $714.00! Holy Cow!

Note: the expert on run dressing missed – shoes, socks and his shirt among the required clothing as written in his explanation of what to wear for a run. He might have found it helpful to have opened the RW interactive computer application to have aided his article. On the other hand you can run without any footwear and a shirt really isn’t necessary. However, in a triathlon during the run some organizations require shirts – you cannot race without wearing a shirt. The RW expert, perhaps, isn’t associated with triathlons.

I ran this morning and it wasn’t cold.  I wore similar apparel to the expert’s advised gear listed in Runner’s World.  I couldn’t remember what I’d paid for my gear.  But, I knew where to look to find out – Amazon’s link to my past purchases: Shoes Nike Revolution 4, $50.62, shorts Baleaf – $19.99 (these have a stitched in brief, an expert’s additional expense avoided), socks from Sock Guy, $7.60, T-shirt Goodthreads $12.00, cap with UGA logo $18.00.  The cap was purchased from a drugstore in Athens, Georgia.

I don’t use “cool down recover shoes” so money saved there.  I, also, don’t run with music playing, I’d rather hear what’s going on around me on the trails I run. So, another savings there on the Airpods.  Note: I wouldn’t buy Airpods period.  That would be money soon lost.

My total cost toward the unassisted body covering of running apparel: $108.21. Would I have run faster or longer or even more comfortably having spend another $605.79 (the difference in my apparel versus the above expert’s) – nope.

Less than fancy race apparel (5K in Miami, 1st place sometime a decade or so ago)

Reading over the material in Issue 4/2019 of Runner’s World I didn’t get the impression I was any more enlightened in the matter of apparel for running than I had been when I began the read.  Curiously, I hadn’t known I needed enlightenment in the matter at hand. Admittedly, the examples of runners modeling clothing in this issue all appeared to be wearing fancier gear than I have wear worn or probably ever will wear with one exception.

‘Pre’

The exception was Steve Prefontaine.  Runner’s World ran a picture in Issue 4/2019 of ‘Pre’ from what I guess was taken in 1972 during the Olympics or at the 1971 Pan Am Games.  I made that guess because Pre is wearing a “USA” jersey.  I, too, have a USA Team kit from a World Championship team.  I doubt either one of our jerseys was in the price neighborhood of $55.00 similar to the one on page 41 of RW.

My one cool kit

When I finally closed the pages of RW Issue 4/2019 it felt more like I’d been schooled on how to spend money.  The cover’s eye catcher would have been better presented as “53 Surefire answers to one of running’s most enduring questions: What to Buy”.   For me, I’ll run cheap and more modestly dressed. It really is easy.

5% Drop, A Welcome Switch, and Beating Levi

2020 competitive season compared to 2019 is loading up with an overall 5% drop in scoring at 50 meters.  My 18 meter scores dropped 4.3%. My 5-spot average dropped 0.5% with a greater drop on the X count, 15%.

I have no idea why this is happening.  But, it seemed a break might be in order.

By break I mean changing from shootings dots and popping some foam.

Last year, 3D was so frustrating and disappointing it slipped from my routine.  The depressed 3D season had nothing to do with results.  It was entirely a matter of being able to reach tournaments.  This year the Covid-19 has decimated the spring competitive season.  The way I’ve been shooting that is fine with me.

Rather than paying for competitive humiliation my shame remains on my range.  So, switching over to 3D for a break wasn’t going to have me projecting sheepish grins towards fellow archers as they scored my 8s and 5s. Even a miss could remain hidden from everyone other that the guilty party.

Let me say right here how a couple of hours flinging arrows at faux animals while hiking through the woods can be refreshing.  The back and forth hike over a worn trough to pull arrows out of dots can become mind numbing. Fresh uncomplaining faces of foam critters waiting to catch arrows are a nice break.

On top of it all I didn’t perform as poorly as I’d expected.  I returned from the woods with the same number of arrows that were carried into the woods.

Pleasantly surprised I averaged 10.2 points per arrow.  There were two bogies that screwed me up, an eight and a five.  I shot 40 targets at an average of 31.1 yards using a bow hunter tight (short stabilizer and pins). My skewed collection of targets, more small ones, rabbit and bobcat sized, does reign in the distance.

I prefer using a hunting style rig shooting 3D.  I’ve used a scope and long stabilizers for 3D and it isn’t as much fun for me.  When I do that it feels like 3D field archery.  I love field archery but it is nice to add another disciple to shooting using a hunting setup.

Today, 3D was a welcome break.  I can’t image how many 3D events I’ll gather in my quiver in 2020.  But, it is enjoyable to go out and play. (Sorry Levi, I beat you again today)

Stuck at Home

Only a few holes and free

I have to wonder how many tournaments we’ll get to enjoy during 2020.  I see four, thus far, on my calendar that did not happen.  This break from competition gives time for me to figure the best combinations of bows with gear for when tournaments re-start.

Even though I replaced this target it still had a little life remaining. Yes there are holes everywhere including some in the blue. The ranges were from 10 yards to 15 yards. (No these holes come from a bit further out)
Working from 50 meters
Sitting at 65 yard with plenty of room to increase the distance. I expect some limbs will need to be trimmed as I get out to 75 + yards. At 70 yards no limbs to intersect with the arch of an arrow.

Currently, I am working at longer distances. I am also shooting lots of holes in paper.  Here’s a really lucky thing – last year I picked up several used targets after an outdoor event.  These targets were going to be thrown away! I wish I’d grabbed more but felt a little embarrassed digging from the pile of trash on the ground.  I was assured I could take as many used targets as I wanted.  I didn’t want to seem selfish so I grabbed a few.  I took a limited share leaving an abundance for other people – unlike the toilet paper grab that seems for the moment to be universal.

This happens every once and a while (50 meters)

I know this shelter at home is harder for people living in cities.  If you are an archer and live in Chicago or Atlanta I am sorry for you.  Hang in there!