I Can Wait

When I look at the archery tournament schedule I can only stare and wish.  Yes, there is a tournament in August here in Georgia.  There is also an increase in the Covid-19 here in Georgia where we reached 104,000 cases or just about 10% of the population passing this bug around. (GA- DPH 6/11/21)

Clearly archers have been gathering on ranges and at tournaments here in the Peach State.  I know because they post there group pictures snapped by cell phone.  No masks and the six feet apart recommendation abandoned for the photo-op.

While I’d really enjoy a competition I’d rather wait and lower my risk of catching the virus.  A friend of ours from Florida wanted to come up for a visit.  We passed on that request even though we’d like to see him.  He pointed out that my wife and I are on good shape.  Was that supposed to mean that if we caught a virus that might travel up from Florida we’d probably only experience mild symptoms and most likely not die? I can wait to see him.

Practice still rolls on. Today I was an easy day and I enjoyed shooting 145 arrows in 90-degree weather.  All were close range as I am considering switching my distance up to 20 meters hoping that by the time indoor season rolls around we’ll have a vaccine.  For my part, I doubt I’ll be lining up close to a bunch of archers from around the State to shoot an outdoor event.  I don’t expect archers’ boxes to be placed six feet apart.

When it comes to shooting along with a pile of archers during a pandemic – I can wait.

Waiting for the Dust to Settle

I’ve not picked up a bow in weeks.  It has been a good time to accept an unplanned recovery.  It has also been time to repair targets and clean the range.

Keeping the lanes clear

I did a 3D tournament in June.  The Covid-19 social distancing wasn’t strictly followed.  I planned to continue competing but put that plan aside until the dust has settled a bit.

Over the Memorial Day weekend we didn’t head out into crowds of carefree people.  I predicted we’d see a spike post-Memorial Day and we did.  I expect the increases we continue to see are associated with Memorial Day and protests.

I’m 65 and in good health.  I expect if I get Covid-19 my symptoms would be mild.  In fact, I’d not be surprised to find I have the antibodies found among people that have been exposed to Covid-19 and not had more severe symptoms.  I don’t know because I’m not paying $300.00 to find out.

While I wait for less contagious times I continue to prepare.  There is a State Championship in August but that one might be a skip.  Still, I’ll restart practice in a few days in the event the August date appears safe – which I don’t expect.

The deer enjoy the range at night

I will mention this – running and cycling have been going really well.  And you can bet my range looks nice.

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.

‘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.

If You Don’t Monitor You Can’t Manage: A Useful Journal

When I retired I’d planned to put all my athletic efforts into the endurance sports I’d enjoyed my entire life.  Those competitions are hard on the body and pocket book.  By chance I was given a bow that new priced at $78.00.  After a week of playing with that toy bow I wanted a better bow and I wanted to get better as an archer.

One of the focal points for me is in sport is data.  Naturally I began collecting data on my practice and performance shooting a bow.  I still collect and review my data.

The data I collect helps me monitor progress, find areas that need work, and suggests how to set goals.  It has further allowed me to create scholastic works based on talent transfer.

All top athletes monitor their work.  The data for professional athletes and the systems used to gather input have become extremely sophisticated. From chips in football shoulder pads to invisible grids on a basketball court we know more about today’s athletes than ever before.

Archery hasn’t yet been overwhelmed with gizmos promising immediate improvement.  Still, you can find plenty of ‘tech’ on which you can spend your cash hoping to gain an edge shooting arrows.

Archery has been around for a much longer time than any hot new gizmos promising improved shooting performance.  People have been shooting bows since around 20,000 BC.  Early bows weren’t used for sport, they were tools for hunting and warfare. (1) Successful archery was an easy measurement – you ate and you lived.

Archery as a sport had its first recreational competition of modern time in 1583 England. (1) It is also known that Mongols held archery competitions during gatherings before the English: 1194 – 1195. (2) Amazing, data from the Mongolian tournament exists today. The Mongolian archers were warriors, whereas in Britain in the 1500s over 3000 archers competed for pleasure.

Keeping your archery data is important should you want to be a competitive archer.  My friend Robbie Surface, also an archery coach, has designed two journals for archers to record their data.  One journal is designed for 3D the other for target archery. He gave me one, a target style, to try.

First, the journal is narrow enough to slip into my quiver.  If it didn’t fit I’d probably have it lost before too long. The journal contains 100 pages for data entry.  There are entry fields to record practice or tournament specifics.

Aside from points per arrow fields there is an area for Mental Game and Shot Execution.  For me, I use a simple numeric recording for both entries.  While my short hand means something to me it will be meaningless to others.  You can create any notation or system that works for you in these two fields. (3)

I’ve been using my journal, thanks to Robbie, since he gave me one to try.  It is a useful tool and easy to understand – surpassing expensive gizmos that remain on a shelf after the novelty dies.

You can view his journals, target and 3D, online where they are available for purchase at:

https://www.archeryjournals.com

If you don’t monitor you can’t manage.

Reference:

(1) https://worldarchery.org/History-Archery

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_bow

(3) https://www.archeryjournals.com

Shoot 3 Arrows, thaw

It was cold running this morning while running.  It is cold every winter. Nice things about winter and trail running are no snakes and no bugs.  During the run I was thinking that it will be cold shooting.  Most days like this one I try to shoot indoors.  However, I’ll be shooting indoors tonight in Social Circle and I didn’t want to spend the gas to make two trips.

River pausing during the run to take a sniff

This is how archery went:  Shoot three arrows, thaw, shoot three arrows, thaw….

So, I Missed the 1st 3D of 2020

Miami a few years ago (I won)

As with nearly every morning Sunday started with a run.  Before I retired I traveled a lot.  Travel outside of the US was common. Everywhere I traveled I ran.  I’ve run in 49 of the 50 US States and 20 of the 195 countries in the world.  I ‘ve ‘Officially’ raced in US, Italy, France, Germany, England and Japan.  Most of those competitions were on the road.  In England, a 10K, it was mixed trail and road.

10K in the UK (I didn’t win)

Running allowed me to see parts of the world I might not have had I not gotten out for a run.  What I’ve found is that running in cities is a great way to sightsee but running trails has really become a favorite.  I have found memories of trail runs in Australia, Japan and Malaysia. I never got lost on those trails.  I did get lost running in Toronto. Canadians are really helpful and the locals guided me back to my hotel. My morning runs here in Georgia are nearly 100% trail running.

Trails behind my house

Running has become an element of archery training.  I may not sign up for another race anytime soon.  That is unless I find a nearby trail run that happens on a weekend that isn’t filled with an archery event.

Had to hold my bow using a glove during this cold day
Ray, my father-in-law’s practice range

This weekend I missed the first local 3D tournament of 2020.  It was this past Sunday and I’d made plans without having the 2020 3D schedule at my fingertips. Naturally, all my friends who competed posted photos and bragged about how much fun they had shooting.

This is what you get of you aim at the same spot twice.
You can see the targets down range

I still practiced on Sunday and was thankful that my father-in-law has a nice practice range at his house in Tignall, Georgia.  It was cold over the weekend but the weather wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t get a nice long practice.

I thought I heard someone yell, “Get Him” in my direction

Despite missing the 3D tournament in Shady Dale, Georgia it was a good day to run and do some solo practice.

Sporting my USA Team kit for this charity run in Delaware (Not the hat, I don’t recall how I ended up wearing a South Carolina logo cap)

Slow Down

Over the past month the exercises in my training plan have all been those associated with starting from the beginning.  Weeks were spent shooting at targets 11 yards away.  Then, those targets moved to 15 yards, 17 yards and finally 20 yards.  Each move occurring after scores had reached an acceptable level.  Each arrow was judged not on the score rather whether or not the shot had occurred properly.

Admittedly 100% proper form was not achieved.  At 11 yards the arrow might land in an X but the form may still have been off.  The further back the more pronounced a poorly formed shot scored. With an indoor State Championship less than three weeks away 18 meters is the distance of focus.

Rushing shots or depending on luck are not methods for consistent scoring.  Both of those bad methods to shoot remain in my quiver.  They are hard habits to break.

Two things hamper shooting: rushing the shot and slamming off an arrow hoping for a bit of luck.  We’ve all been lucky a time or two.  On the other hand that luck isn’t always good.

A friend and early coach once told me, “Get one arrow, shoot it, retrieve it and shoot it again – one arrow at a time.” Boring!  Shooting arrows is fun, if it weren’t archers would probably become runners. (I know you are unlikely to run unless you’re being chased – that was a joke.)

I took the advice after years of avoiding the one at a time practice.  I held in the game for 15 arrows from 18 meters before I broke.  It was a boring as I’d imagined.  (I considered going for a run at arrow 10)

Off to a goot start
Okay, one 9 and one 10 the rest Xs

The practice did make me slow down and focus on just one arrow at a time.  The results were painfully good.  It taught me that if I slow down I shoot pretty good. Hopefully, once was enough although I doubt it.

Sometimes You Just Grin and Bare It

This past summer we got very little rain here in Athens, Georgia.  We seem to be catching up now that the weather has cooled down.  It has been raining non-stop for the past few days.  It has also been cold.  I can take the rain or I can take the cold but rain with cold is a whole other agony.

Yesterday was a wash – literally.  Running wasn’t missed.  Archery and cycling were scheduled rest days so it worked out.  This morning we awoke to more rain.  Running on trails does provide some slight cover, less so now that the leaves are mostly on the ground.  There are plenty of large evergreen pine trees and the trails are dense but running still leaves one human and one dog wet.   On top of the rain and cold the wind pitched in to support sub-optimal conditions.

River, my lab and running partner doesn’t mind the rain.  In fact, puddles provide opportunities to crash through water at full speed.  She comes home a happy mess.  I come home wet and cold. Still, it is more fun to run than not to run.

The weather forecast suggested there would be a short break in the rain.  The forecast was accurate.  The break meant at least an hour of archery practice could be attempted.

We got a short pause from the rain

As soon as the rain paused I headed out to the range.  Today’s practiced was a focus on form; an effort to reclaim the accuracy I had a year ago.  Since November of 2018 my scores have been slowly sliding into an abyss.  Recent training has all been about regrouping.

The rain on pause, the temperature into the 40s, it was go or miss the day.  Rain was predicted to return after a short breather.  The wind on the other hand was in full form.  In fact, in our woods we’ve had four pine trees blown down during the past few days.

That’s a full tank of propane that remained useless.
The wind was so bad I couldn’t even hang the targets straight

The wind was harsh enough to prevent my outdoor propane heater from staying ignited. It would fire up and fade out.  But, it was just going to be an hour or so of shooting so all that could be done was grin and bare it.

Conditions remained windy without rain for the hour and a half I got to practice.  It wasn’t so bad temperature-wise.  The wind did get me a couple of times but I kept everything in the yellow. Certainly practicing outdoors was more fun that staying indoors, maybe less pleasant that practicing at an indoor range. (The indoor ranges were all closed)

Re-hanging the right target and finishing. The last 6 arrows of 75.