Looking Back at 2016 to Prepare for 2017

In 2016, many of us decided to compete, indoors and out.

I decided to race my single in four events in 2016, all in the fall.  In preparation, I wanted to do several things.  For my rowing, I wanted to spend more time on the water and more time in my racing single.  (I do a lot of open water rowing in a Martin, too.)  For fitness, I wanted to build up my strength (fight muscle loss) and do more interval work.  For efficiency, I wanted to lose weight - 20-30 pounds.

Here is a quick recap of how I fared with those goals. 

First, because I planned to race, I immediately became more serious and more effective at working on the other goals.

Second, as I worked on weights and exercises like pushup and pullups, I realized that a lighter body would be easier to pull up to that bar.  That added a specific incentive to cut down the layer of fat that had grown over what used to be pretty lean muscle.

Over a period of months, I lost just over 25 pounds, probably partly with the exercise but also with diet.  Another 8 pounds would have been perfect, so I was pleased with that progress.  I did more pullups (though still did not reach 10).  I felt lighter in my Hudson.  And it made me more aware of design options for a new single, such as the fact that Empacher makes singles for a sequence of sizes/weights, not just heavy or light.

I thought about doing some summer racing but did not enter or compete at that time.  (I will not blame my daughter's Labor Day wedding, but it was a busy summer at home.)

I entered four fall head races - in Ontario, NY State, Boston and Chattanooga.  More on those events later.

And I spent a number of weeks doing double workouts.  I came to realize that even when I pulled hard, it was "half-power" hard, not (with very rare exceptions) full power.  I did much more interval work, and I incorporated sequences of decreasing duration intervals.  More on that later, also.

I had some good races, not in the sense of being truly fast or winning, but of staying focused, finishing, being competitive with others, and learning more about things I need to do to be efficient racing on unfamiliar courses.  I got passed, but I also passed some other rowers.  I saw old friends/competitors and met some new ones.  I faced the fact that at 65 I was at the low end of my age group, so others with more years could beat me with handicap as well as speed.  More later.

And then winter came.  I went indoors.  I spent more of my time on the erg.  I moved where I store my racing shell and put a roof over it.  And I began looking forward to spring again.  And planning to take back off some of the weight i re-gained and to race some more in 2017.

How about you?  How was 2016 and what is coming in 2017?