Back Indoors

The weather is still not supporting a nice outdoor archery practice. The wind wasn’t as bad today as it has been,  gusts up to 40 mph and a steady 21 mph off the river. It felt as if the gusts were coming about every minute.

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Man this it great

I headed into Elizabeth City to shoot on an indoor range. It was really very nice.

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I’ll take this for a warm up

A Breach in the Sisterhood

Following morning archery session I drove to the YMCA to swim, lift weights and run. On these mornings, my sequence of exercise / training is shoot, swim, lift and run. Typically, things work out pretty much to that plan. There are rarely surprises.

At the YMCA, I don’t get there until around 10:00 am, I’ve noticed that most of the people working out are women. They range from moms with babies or toddlers that are dropped at the Y’s day care while mom gets a training session to grandmamma having a go at the water aerobics. This assemblage of female athletes includes college students to the late shift workers. Still, the majority of Y patrons, when I’m there, are vastly female.   I consider myself lucky in this happy coincidence of timing. This is not meant to be a sexist statement; there is an olfactory advantage to be surrounded my women versus men.

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Plainly speaking men folk are less concerned about their gym hygiene than women – Personal Observation. Guys will often wear the same gym apparel for several workouts (unwashed) and a towel can be used many times over. Once a towel has dried it is good to go. Alas, for many men there is seemingly no point taking a shower before going to the gym – obviously we take a shower at the gym after we’ve worked out. If the reused towel has become too rank, workout clothes function as a close second. Again, personal experience prevails.

The women I’ve noticed at the Y seem often times are not only pre-showered and “done-up” (Nice hair, make-up, clean clothes) they rarely stink. Not the case with the men. A hat goes a long way to disguise morning hair. However, day old body funk is harder to mask. In fact, when I migrate from the cardio weights, where more women workout at this time of day, to the free weight room, the cluster of daytime men’s area, the aroma of the space degrades to a noticeable degree.

Overall, I’d say the ladies, at the Y in the mornings, as a rule have a personal hygiene practice that exceeds most men. Nevertheless, today I received a smelly shock.

The Y was unusually crowded this morning. True to form, the gathering was mostly females all set about doing a variety of calisthenics. This included treadmill running or walking. The last workout on my morning routine was running on the treadmill. Only one was available, located somewhat in the middle of the treadmill park facing a bank of televisions.

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I clambered onto the open treadmill, women on either side and in front of me then ramped up the speed. The facing televisions all have the same disease – noting but mind wasting manure being projected. I don’t watch TV in preference to an audiobook on iPod for listening while I toll my run away.

My headphones are excellent at canceling outside noise which rarely intrudes upon the narration of a good book, in this case, ‘Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy” by John Le Carre. I’d read it years ago and hearing it brings another level of sensory and cognitive enjoyment. Pacing along on the treadmill, listening to George Smiley’s (character in the book) spy investigations, I was hit by an unpleasant sensation.

I might have heard it coming except for the headphones. Perhaps, I’d felt the rumble and attributed it to the treadmill. A cloud of feculent discharge had engulfed me. I knew two things, it wasn’t me and it was massive.

Surrounded by women it didn’t take much to figure out the offense had been discharged by one of them. Through my tears I glanced left and right. Unlike a group of guys, where one is the culprit, there were no pumping fists of the small victory against one’s brothers. The sisterhood is more conspiratorial. Indeed, this was champion level flatulence. In true form, there was no female face that might reveal the originator of this product. It seems there is a universal policy, albeit unwritten, that women don’t break wind in public. In some more fanatical circles that policy extends from birth to the grave regardless of environment or social situation. Should such a public malfeasance occur, the sisterhood lets it slide in anonymity.

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Today’s pēdere suggests a more liberal position by some sister when it comes to treadmills and gyms. In further speculation this might have been a ‘shart’. If you don’t know a ‘shart’ occurs when substance passes along with the gas. It is unexpected. The umbrage lingered too long to have exited without accompaniment.

 

One of those days where swimming and running were better than shooting

Today was good for fitness training, not as good with archery. My morning practice, shooting at paper, I shot okay. Not great but there were some really nice shots. You know the ones that ‘feel’ good. Afterwards I had one of those swims that hurt but it felt good moving through the water.

Running was fine and exclusively on a treadmill. I have four races over the next 6 weeks and a treadmill allows me to set a pace and get a feel for the time per mile. Granted, running on treadmills is as boring as it gets but they serve a purpose.

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One of my favorite targets – I like the way the tree line up the shot.

Shooting 3D in the afternoon sucked. I shot a 160 for 20 targets. I warmed up shooting about 40 arrows at different targets over different known distances. Then, I shot 20 targets at unknown distances from a range of 22 to 50 yards.

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This pig was one of my good shots from 34 yards.

I try to make the shots difficult and lately have been working to make my targets harder than what I might see in competition. I see a lot of difficult shots during tournaments so I do what I can to make things tough.

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This is one of those “on again -off again” targets. The X is just below that center white spot. Still from 39 yards a difficult target.

I’d say today I succeeded.

Solo Morning Practice / Afternoon Practice

Shooting practice is often a solo activity. That can be good, but there are times it would be nice to practice with company. Livings in very rural North Carolina odds are that nearly all my practice is solo.

An advantage I have is I never need to what for range time. I can step outside and shoot at paper targets or 3D. During the winter or when there is bad weather having somewhere to practice indoors is nice.

In Elizabeth City, NC a new indoor range has opened. Brenda, my wife, was heading to the Y for an extra workout. I wasn’t, my workouts were up to par, and so I headed to the new indoor range.

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One lonely bow on an empty (well nearly empty) range

Cost for an hour of shooting is $6.00. The range is marked at 20 and 25 yards. I paid my fee and decided on 20 yards. I had the range all to myself. Another solo day and this day I was glad to be alone.

Shooting a 5-spot indoors, no wind, no pressure, I shot like crap. I don’t think I ever shot five Xs in a row. Lately, that’s how my shooting has been running.

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This cat is always hard to see in the afternoon.

Back at home; in the afternoon I shot 3D. I’ll admit, there are some days that are better than others, and some months that are better as well. I think shooting with other folks adds another dimension to archery that makes me take it up a notch. For now, the best I can do to find other folks to shot with is head to as many tournaments as possible.

Back on the 3D Range and Shooting at Birds

Since the IBO World Championships I’ve been shooting paper. For the most part, the 3D season is over and during the next several months I’ll be shooting indoors. Shooting 3D is good practice for hunting and there’s another 3D tournament where I’ll be competing in a few weeks. So, this morning I shot some 3D.

I’ve also changed my rig so that it has a scope and adjustable sight. I changed the center dot on the lens to a vertical pin. It’s great with the only issue – getting the yardage tape set. The tape is off a couple yards on the short side. A new tape and things should be right.

Being off a bit for a know distance, like 20 meters indoors, isn’t a big deal. Rather than setting the site to 20, I set it to 22. Not a problem. Shooting 3D with unknown yardage tape variance is more of a problem. Errors on the sight and off on the yardage estimate could combine to make a really bad shot. Not my problem today.

Today, most of my shots were fine, that is I was fitting a lot of 10s with a few 8s and a few Xs. The real screw up came when shooting a deer from 48 yards. Now, these are my targets and I know the range rather well. I mix it up and do a variety of practice exercise so I don’t become compliant with simple shots that I’ve repeatedly done.

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Deer that I sailed an arrow over

But, when I shot at this deer from 48 yards I heard my arrow go popping and snapping through the woods. Naturally, I first thought was “What The F…!” I immediately hiked into the brush behind the deer and after a short search found the arrow. That was lucky.

Still, I had no idea how I’d missed so badly. Nothing was amuck with bow. Actually, the set up prior to the shot and the release felt good. I double checked the sight and herein was the heart of the matter. Twisting a sight to 58 yards, when shooting 48 yards is never a good thing. Unless you are, in fact, shooting at birds and you’re really lucky.

Stuff That Messes Up Plans

Training, archery practice and keeping up with this website takes a lot of time. Therefore, days are planned to make the most of them. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Yesterday was one of those messed up days.

My morning archery session went okay. That is, I had plenty of time to shoot even if my arrows were all over the place. I was practicing against a 5-spot and hit the blue ring about 10% of the time. Not par, but lately this has been typical of my shooting.

Next on the schedule were swimming, weights, and running. Brenda goes with me for these workouts. While I’m swimming she does one of her workout. After I swim, and she finishes her workout, we meet up for weights and running.

We left for the Y on time. Ten minutes into the drive she says, “I forgot my shoes.” Opps, turning around meant something was going to be missed. I gave up my swim and she had to give up her 10:00 am workout.

We still got in weights and a treadmill session, but I was sorry to have missed the swim. Some days just don’t go as planned. Afternoon archery practice was busted by a rain storm. It happens.

Here’s My Training for a Week

Many people don’t actually practice what they preach. I’m not one of them. When I write about fitness, I’m serious about it. I find sports and competition a lot of fun. So, here’s what I do in a typical week.

Sunday – I generally use this day for long runs or long bike rides. I consider a long run anything over an hour and a long bike ride anything 50 miles or longer. When I was purely a completive cyclist I’d ride much further. But, that was many years ago. On top of this I’ll typically shoot 2 to 3 hours.

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Monday – This is a swim day. I don’t swim as far as when I was training for an Ironman. However, I swim shorter distances at a faster pace. I do about a kilometer. Once I’ve completed the swim, I’ll lift weights. I lift to preserve muscle mass. At 60, I know that weight lifting is important for my long-term health. Next, I take a short run that is primarily intervals in nature. Before swimming I shoot for an hour. This morning session ends around lunch. After lunch I’ll shoot again and train on my Computrainer (cycling apparatus)

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Tuesday – Generally a lighter day. I do an easy run in the morning then shoot. In the afternoon I shoot again, and do another session on my Computrainer or ride outside. I’ll also do speed rope work.

Wednesday – This is exactly like Monday. It is a long day.

Thursday – I’ll only shoot once and have an active recovery day on the bike.

Friday – I may only shoot, or take the day off entirely. If I shoot, then it will be a short session.

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Saturday – This is either an archery tournament, race day, or day where I duplicate the activity if I can’t find a formal event to enter. It is essentially an easy day since I try to train harder that I compete.

I can do all of this because I’m retired. When I worked I wasn’t involved in archery. Still, my training for triathlon was very similar to what I’m doing now – only longer. One other advantage I have is that my wife is an athlete.  She understands the work I put into fitness since she is similar in her activities.

There is also room for flexibility with my training. Travel can alter my plans as can a specific competition where I need more focus.  For example, I have a 5K race soon.  It is a short and fast event, but one where I’d like to do well.  Therefore more interval  and speed work versus long slow runs.

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I also listen to my body.  I don’t want to be on of those 60+ athletes that drops dead because they’ve over done it with their heart.  In addition it takes longer for me to recover at 60- than it did at 25.  I allow for it, which means I might skip a workout or lighten my load.