Monday, April 22, 2013

Rethinking My Training Goals

Today starts week 2 of my training sprint and I'm quite shocked at my results from last week.  I forgot to mention in my last post that this sprint is not only archery training, but weight training too.  My weight increased last week to 25# so needless to say, the one day where I had both weight training and shooting, my arms were like noodles.  On that particular day, last Monday, I did AM blank bale immediately followed by weight training and then did PM shooting at 20m.  Today I have both weight training and shooting on my To Do list, but will instead shoot AM, PM and then weight train.  We'll see how I feel tonight.

OK, here is the recap of last week's results:
Goal: shoot x4 days a week at 20m - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
Goal: weight train x3 days a week - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
Goal: shoot x50 arrows per shooting day for a weekly total x200 arrows - FAR EXCEEDED GOAL!

On Monday I stopped shooting at exactly 25 arrows in the AM and PM for a total of 50 arrows shot.  Later that day, I thought about how good it felt to shoot and that I was a little disappointed that I stopped at 25 arrows each session.  Then I remembered what Coach Randi said, "... stop shooting when your form fails."  It was at that moment, I decided to rethink my goals: trust Coach Randi's advice and trust my body.

On Tuesday, I kept Coach Randi's words in my head and was able to shoot a few more arrows until my form failed.  I repeated the process the remaining x2 shooting days of the week:

Mon - x50
Tues - x60
Thu - x72
Sat - x102

My original goal for last week was a weekly total of 200.

Monday's 20m shots:

Saturday's 20m shots - 1st time all gold:

Saturday's 20m shots - 2nd time all gold:

My adjusted goals for this week are:
Shoot x4 days a week at 30m (blank bale in AM)
Shoot at least 72 arrows each shooting day for weekly total of 288
Weight train x3 days a week

I need to take video of me shooting, but cannot find my Flip video at the moment.  :/

Last Thursday I had a glorious massage which I believe attributed to my sudden increase in arrows shot.  The massage therapist said everything in my back was rock hard but that she was able to achieve some release.  It was an odd experience because my entire back is still numb, I could hear her hands on my shirt, but couldn't feel her hands.  When she found a tight spot she was trying to release, I would feel a bee sting sensation deep down in the muscle but then it dissipated.  Very strange.  After the massage, I felt incredibly relaxed and my neck pain was greatly alleviated.  Looking forward to this week's massage!  :)

The target has been moved to 30m for this week so I'm super-duper excited to see how my progress unfold.  Ideally, my plan is to train at 40m next week and then move to Kennesaw Archery Club for 50m training the week after.  I've got the Georgia Cup tournament on my radar which is the end of May.  I've got a few weeks before I have to commit to sending in registration.  The deciding factor will be, how am I shooting at 50m because that is the tourney distance I will need to hit.

Heel/ankle pain is increasing to the point where it is impacting the way I walk.  Balance issues are increasing too along with numbness in hands and feet and now seeing multiple black dots in right eye.  Appointment with neuro is this week.

Off to shoot!

Monday, April 15, 2013

And So It Begins...

Paralympian team coach, Randi Smith, and Coach Jim helped me design a training program to achieve my goal of shooting 6 days a week. Today marks the start of the 6 week sprint with a goal of shooting 75 arrows per day, 6 days a week by May 25, 2013. This week's goal is shooting 50 arrows total, blank bale in the AM and 20m in the PM, 4 days a week. I'll incrementally increase the amount of arrows and days during the sprint. I'm eager to compete and have my eye on a few summer tourneys. At the end of the sprint, I'll evaluate my progress and decide which tourney will be my first. My weight training bumps up to 25# today too. I should be sleeping like a rock!

Dr. Lenke gave me a prescription for PT massage which I will cash in very, very soon. I'll make some calls this week and look forward to a little bit of pampering.

I've been having some health issues (non-spine related) and am trying to narrow things down to the source. My doc feels that I have RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and I FEEL like I have it too, based on where the pain is. While I tested negative on the two RA blood tests, my doc said 30% of those who test negative still have the disease. I'll be off to see the rheumatologist soon to see what my course of action will be. The worst pain is in my knees, ankles and heels (pain is in other places too, but these are at the top of the list). The pain in my heel is causing me to walk differently which isn't good for my spine. After shooting Saturday for almost one hour, the pain was shooting up into my calf and knee. I'll talk with coach about designing a shooting stool for me.

Another issue that has reappeared are MS (multiple sclerosis) type symptoms that I had the summer before my surgery. At the time, my neurologist confirmed a severe deficiency in B12 which can mimic MS symptoms. I started weekly B12 injections and the symptoms practically disappeared. Late last year, the symptoms started slowly reappearing and as of 2 months ago, the symptoms are almost as bad as they were in 2011 (memory/balance/strength, etc. issues. My B12 blood work showed a normal range which is good, but that means, my symptoms are no longer related to a B12 deficiency. My doc wants my neuro to revisit the MS possibility; I'll see her next week.

Off to shoot! :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Baby Steps to Building Strength & Muscle

This week I increased my weight training from 15# to 20# and WOW, what a difference!  Here are the seated rows:

Glad to see things moving back there.  ;) 


Hit a new milestone this week of shooting x3 days in a row. Even though I only shot a total of x3 ends of 6 arrows each for each day, I was happy with the progress. I rec'd my arrows Wed and within 24 hours I was down x2 arrows and missing a 3rd. The first compromised arrow occurred at coach's house when the arrow hit the wood target frame. Coach did his best to remove the arrow, but after a hammer and chisel didn't work, it took a drill to get it out. The next compromised arrow occurred the next day at home shooting in my back yard. Ended up splitting an arrow already in the target when shooting another which caused the flying arrow to go missing in the yard. Fortunately, I was able to borrow coach's metal detector yesterday and found it.

We had a fun time at the local gun/archery shop. Hubby shot his rifle while I shot with our daughter and her friend. I had shot 5 ends when my string popped off again. Sigh. Back to Snellville this morning to have Griv fix my bow. First thing he said to me was, "I have never seen this before... we need to increase the DW." I can't afford to have my string pop anymore so now it is set at 31#. I'm able to pull it, but I definitely have my work cut out for me in regards to building more strength. On the drive home, I could feel the muscles in the side of my neck/trap area getting sore. I pushed through my scheduled workout today and am now physically wiped out. I forgot how easy my body fatigues. I had planned to go hiking with my family this afternoon, but felt it best to stay home and rest. I have not yet hiked since the surgery because I was restricted for a long time from walking on inclines/hills. Baby steps. I'm chillin at home with my x3 pups on the deck in the sunshine.