Coming off the Vegas Shoot, I was feeling more confident in my shooting. I, unfortunately, lost all that the next weekend when I shot the state championships and couldn’t hit yellow to save my life! This meant I went into Indoor Nationals, not knowing what to expect at all. We also had the warmest 3 day stretch we have had all winter thurs-sat, so the last thing I wanted to be doing was heading indoors to compete…I wanted to be getting ready for outdoors! I will say one positive that week was when facebook reminded me of R and my first indoor nationals in 2013! It’s hard to believe that this was our 5th time shooting the event, but it was also cool to see that it’s still a sport we both can compete together in.
Shooting my first line time at 4pm on Friday, I decided to skip my SPTs that morning, so I would be fresh for the evening shooting. That didn’t seem to help my score any, as the first day was a struggle. Just like at the state champs, I felt like my arrows weren’t going where I was expecting, and shot that felt good weren’t landing well at all. I kept shooting things like 10,8,8 or X,7,7. I would have one arrow every end that seemed to want to be low (7/8 liner). After I while I felt like I just sort of gave up. Don’t get me wrong, I still was trying and wanted to do well, but I had resigned myself to the fact that I couldn’t figure out what to do/change to score better. The only good part of the evening was the annual visit to Enrico’s brick oven pizza when we were done shooting!
I came home and made a few adjustments to my equipment. I figured it was worth trying SOMETHING for the next day, as it couldn’t really get much worse then day 1. R and I were shooting the 12pm line on Saturday. This meant after a late night, we were able to sleep in a little before having to get up and start getting ready to head back up to MA for the tournament. We decided to just grab a sandwich on our way to the shoot for lunch, so we wouldn’t have to worry about eating until we were done. Big mistake!
Anyone who follows me on facebook knows all the fun I had on the second day. Let me just say it started with food poisoning, followed up with a bow blowing up behind me while I was shooting, and ended with me getting a new person best. Let me focus on the positive here, since I already gave the rundown of the negative parts. I knew indoor nationals was my last chance to reach my indoor goal of a 280/300. I came close in Vegas, but fell short. I knew I would have 4 chances at indoor nationals to get it, which I was excited (and a little nervous) about. I didn’t come close on day 1, the first round of day 2 was closer but still not even what I had shot in Vegas. That meant I had 30 arrows left to reach my season’s goal!
I opened the round 27, 28, 26…not nearly good enough for my 280. The next end I had a 25 (thanks to a 6!). This meant 4 ends in I was already 6 points off the average I needed to get my goal. I knew I really had to dig deep and battle to have a shot (though with the 6 I figured it was probably out of reach so I just wanted a respectable score). In the 17th end I shot my very first 3X 30 in a competition. It felt great, and gave me some much needed confidence at that point. I followed it up with a 27 (X,9,8) and then another 3X 30 end! It was at this point that I happened to realize my score was a 251 with one end left (I try not to pay attention to score when I’m shooting). I knew that meant I needed a 29 on the final end to reach my goal.
Going into this last end was the most nervous I’ve felt with my recurve. I stepped up on the line and just told myself to focus on my shot. Regardless of where the arrows scored, I knew I could be happy with how I’d shot this last 30 arrows. First arrow was a 10, second arrow was a 10…then the heart started to race. I knew I just needed a 9 on my last arrow (which coming from compound, that’s easy, you just don’t do anything stupid. I took some extra time to just take a few deep breaths and try to clear my head. I drew back and my sight picture was definitely shaky, but I just focused on doing the steps in my routine. The shot felt good, but definitely not one of those you KNOW is in the middle, so I ran back to grab my binos. I was hoping it was just a 9.
Guess what? Not only was it a 10, but all three arrows that end were in the X ring AGAIN! That meant 3 out of my last 4 ends were 3X 30s AND I had shot a new pb 281 (beating my goal of 280!). More than the score itself, I was happiest with the fact that 1)I had learned (even if just for one end) how to shoot a recurve under pressure/nerves and 2)I was able to battle back after a rough start to finish strong. Both of these are things I had learned to do with a compound, but this was the first time I felt like I had managed to do it with a recurve. This meant I was able to leave indoor season behind me, feeling good having reached my goal and turn my attention to outdoor season and 70m!