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Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine

My wife and kids motivated me to get my big belly back into the pool after buying a pair of SwiMP3's for Christmas in 2008. I focused on swimming the Peaks To Portland (Maine) 2.4 mile swim in July, 2010, and have added meets and consistent training since then. I mostly swim on my own because I am only able to get together with the local Master's workout group a couple of times a month. I love the backstroke and short free events, and I have a newly discovered fondness for Open Water, having completed my first 10K in Sept '11 and 10 mile in July '12.


My faith in Christ sees me through the exhausting practices and long hours driving to competitions (well, everything day by day, actually), and helps to keep me grounded in the knowledge that the events are only to give me feedback on how my training is progressing. If you're interested, just ask.

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Check out my swimmer info page here.

  1. Workout 12/20/14: morning

    by , December 20th, 2014 at 03:39 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Borrowed this idea from Karl's post in the forums ....

    12 Days of Christmas ... plus a bonus Hanukkah Set

    12. 300 Warmup: 200 Swim/100 kick
    11. Straight swim ... long and strong, focus on streamline
    10. 2 x 125 Pull
    09. Alternate easy/fast by 25 + 1 pushup or deckout
    08. 4 x 50 Quarter's Strong + 2 pushup or deckout
    07. 7 x 25 Burst and Cruise + 3 pushup or deckout
    06. 2 x 75 (pull/no free swim/drill) + 4 pushup or deckout
    05. Alternate skull/swim by 25 + 5 pushup or deckout
    04. 100 social kick (and sing!) + 6 pushup or deckout
    03. 75 choice (build by 25) + 7 pushup or deckout
    02. 50 push-pull with a partner + 8 pushup or deckout
    01. Sprint!
    (1950 yds)

    150 easy and out
    (Masters/Rec/2100 yds/75 min)
    ----------------------------

    Great practice to close out the end of the year! Everyone enjoyed the breakup of the distances and we did our best to sing and kick (at least, what we could remember of many classic Christmastime songs). With the kids on break until the end of the year, our usual Tuesday night practice has been bumped, and I will be working next weekend. A fun ending, complete with candy canes and chocolate snowmen to munch on from coach!

    We are hosting our annual family Christmas party later this afternoon, and might try to make it to the local theater for the high school's rendition of A Christmas Carol this evening.
  2. Workout 12/16/14: evening

    by , December 16th, 2014 at 10:01 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a great time at the Men's group last night at the college. It happens on the third Monday of each month, with a meal at 6pm then worship with music and a message at 7, and for those that can stay later the football game. I have been able to get to the past three meetings, but due to work it'll be a few months until I can make it again.

    I had an easy day today around the house, with some appointments to take care of. Tonight I made it to Masters ...

    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull (+100 IM drill)
    100 (skull/swim)
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    8 x 50 on :10sr ~80% (+100 easy)
    50 kick into 50 pull (+50 pull)
    6 x 50 on :15sr [1,6 = even split, 2-5 = quarter strong] (+50 easy)
    50 pull (+ 50 pull) into 50 kick
    4 x 50 on :20sr best average (I did 100 and got out here)
    50 kick
    2 x 50 on :30sr FAST
    150 loosen and out
    -----------------------
    (Masters/Rec/2000 yds (I did 1950 yds in 45 min)

    Carol, Greg, Melissa, and Rachel finished out the workout. I talked with a buddy in the locker room; he started running a couple of years ago and was motivated by my 300 miles last year in the water to shoot for 1000 miles on land this year. He is less than 10 miles away! Even though I probably won't hit 150 miles this year, it is neat that I provided him with a crazy goal for this year. You never know who you may spur on!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  3. Meet 12/13/14: 2014 New England SCM Championships

    by , December 14th, 2014 at 12:19 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After a quiet summer and fall in the pool training, I came to the realization that I rather enjoy the opportunity to compete and decided to drop in on one of the three days of this annual December meet at the great facility at Boston University. Planning to just drive in the for the day, I signed up for four events knowing that the first would likely not start before noontime, allowing me to sleep in a little before heading out this morning for the big city around 7:30am. Here are some pictures (no filters) from the ride over the Green Mountains (about fifteen minutes from home) as we started our three hour trip):









    I warmed up in the four scy lanes in the diving well of the pool after checking in for my events, logging my standard 1500 yards. No starts or sprints but that's ok. I waited for about an hour before getting in another 200y before my first event ...

    100scm Back: 1:06.70 (33.04, 33.66). About a second off my fastest time a couple of years ago. I felt that I was slipping a bit on the second lap, so really tried to think about hand position on the last fifty. Solid time. Warmed down with 200y and sat down to wait for the relays and the afternoon's swims.

    50scm Breast: 39.40. A personal best time by .18! Good start and turn with a fluid-feeling stroke. I've never been a fan of this stroke, but know that I need to keep working on it. I then did an easy 200y to relax before the ...

    200scm Fly: 2:40.37 (34.33, 40.64 [1:14.98], 44.15, 41.24). Another PB by a just under 3 seconds! I did DPS fly for the first 175m, then swimming full stroke on the last length. With my lack of swimming I was struggling with the aerobic side of the 200, plus the thought behind the blocks that I always have ("why did I sign up for this?") After an easy 200y and a quick chat with my wife, I hopped in for another easy 100y before my final event ...

    100scm Free: 59.78 (29.45, 30.33). I was happy to get under a minute and felt tanked. Again the lack of solid base training lead to me being very tired (and in turn, sloppy) for a sprint to end the meet. I capped off the day with and easy 400y, bringing my totals for the day to: 450scm + 2800yds.

    So as I complete another day of competition, I am thinking that I will need to make training more consistent in the future especially for the meets that have multiple events over a number of days. I am also swimming with an extra 15 pounds over last year, so I'll need to commit to some tweaks in my nutrition as well to get my waist back in line. Overall, I am very satisfied with the meet, in particular the extra time spent with Lena talking about her trip to Germany and our family - twenty years ago we used to hop in the car and drive around and talk; it's nice to have opportunity to do that together again.

    Updated December 14th, 2014 at 01:31 AM by rxleakem

    Tags: boston, bu scm
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Open Water
  4. Workout 12/12/14: noon

    by , December 12th, 2014 at 02:53 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My wife made it home safely from her adventure in Germany, and brought home a lot of chocolate and baked treats! We learned that flying through Newark, while a little cheaper, is not a great option due to delays and other issues.

    The kids had a snow day on Wednesday and a two hour delay yesterday, so our current exchange son has been able to experience this fun American happening. It's actually still snowing here in Vermont, although we did not get a lot of snow. Should continue into tomorrow, but my first event at BU is not expected to go off until noon so I will have plenty of time to make the three hour drive in.

    200 free/200 back/200 IM drill
    4 x (50 kick into 50 drill)
    4 x (25 DPS into 25 FAST IMO)
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1300 yds/35 min)
    --------------------------------
    Stretch out swim today. Off to my son's basketball game tonight, where I will probably keep the score book again. Then an early bedtime.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  5. Workout 12/09/14: evening

    by , December 9th, 2014 at 10:28 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a relatively quiet day today, helping to drop my daughter's car off at the shop and then going to the hospital for some lab work which will help me to lower my health premiums at work (I passed ). I was able to get the Christmas lights up outside on the front porch and the tree, as well as a kissing ball for the porch. A winter storm is hunkering down in the area, but the temps have remained high enough above freezing that we have so far just received rain. Looks like snow may start overnight and persist into Thursday, although total accumulations should not be too much in my town.

    200 swim, 100 kick, 200 swim, 100 kick
    4 x 75 on 1:15 (rotate IMO)
    1 x 50 ez
    6 x 50 Free on 1:10 (odds = DPS, evens = FAST)
    1 x 50 ez
    4 x 50 Back on 1:10 (odds = DPS, evens = FAST)
    1 x 50 ez
    4 x 25 burst and cruise on 1:00
    100 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/1750 yds/35 min)
    ------------------------------------

    Due to the weather I was on my own tonight. I was able to sneak in a little early due to the age group team canceling practice, and walked home in time to catch most of Rudolph with the kids.

    More info for the BU meet was posted today, including psych sheets and estimated timeline.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 12/08/14: noon

    by , December 8th, 2014 at 02:35 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My wife is sending in some great reports of her trip, which makes me really happy for her. Looks like the weather has been cool but dry.

    Today I started tackling the den and my many piles; everything is now organized and I need to file things away, so I should be done by tomorrow morning. Just need to tackle the garage ...

    200 fr/200 bk/200 im drill

    3 x
    - 50 DPS :10SR
    - 25 FAST into 25 easy IMO into
    - 100 kick

    4 x 50 burst and cruise on 1:10 IMO
    4 x (25 FAST into 25 easy) on 1:10
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1700 yds/40 min)
    --------------------------------
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 12/06/14: morning

    by , December 6th, 2014 at 02:35 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Went to men's breakfast this morning with my son and ate too much. Bacon burps during the practice were not too gross though.

    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
    100 skull/swim by 25
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    4 x (50 kick into 150 pull)
    2 x (50 DPS, 75 DPS into FAST 25)
    50 easy
    2 x (4 x 25 burst and cruise, 50 easy, 4 x 25 build)
    (taped Meg, Rachel, Melissa, and Tom; Kevin sat out)
    100 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2350 yds/60 min)
    ------------------------------------

    Starting in with some speed work in preparation for the meet next weekend. There are currently 391 swimmers with registration open until Monday. This year the meet is being run as a virtual North vs South Colonies meet, with the north at Boston University and the south at George Mason on the same weekend and the team scores being combined. Something new and exciting. BU info at http://scmchamps.blogspot.com/.

    Heading to a ice hockey game at Williams College this afternoon with my son - a fun time. It has been great following fellow forumites at meets this weekend - keep having a blast!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  8. Workout 12/05/14: noon

    by , December 5th, 2014 at 02:28 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Staycation through the end of next week, and very much welcomed at this point. My wife is in Berlin, Germany, visiting our two (exchange) kids and their families through the end of next week, so I am in charge of taking care of the projects I've neglected over the summer and trying to keep the house clean. Two teens don't help to facilitate that last objective! I was able to get in a short swim today at lunchtime ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    50 kick/100 pull
    100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 50 on :60 (25 perfect free into FAST stroke IMO)
    50 kick/100 pull
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1500 yds/25 min)
    ---------------------------------

    I read a devotional earlier this week that was swimming related, which is not the easiest to find ...
    Michael Phelps, in hot pursuit of an earth-shattering eight Olympic Gold Medals at the 2008 Beijing games, finishes his flip-turn in the 100m butterfly in 7th place and trailing by almost a full body length. Surely, this deficit was insurmountable. Incredibly, Michael was able to close the gap, literally winning by the tip of his finger. When the times posted on the giant scoreboard, everyone was stunned. Even the underwater replays seemed to defy logic.
    You can click the link to read the whole devo here (scroll to the top)

    Updated December 5th, 2014 at 02:33 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 12/02/14: evening

    by , December 2nd, 2014 at 11:05 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Full pool at Masters tonight:

    2x (200 swim/100 kick/100 pull) plus 200 IM drill
    8 x 25 FR drill together
    6 x 50 FR (I taped)
    100 pull
    6 x 25 Build
    100 kick
    4 x 25 burst and cruise
    100 Pull
    (Masters/Rec/1750 yds/45 min)
    ------------------------------------
    The lanes were full and I was able to tape two folks that have not been filmed before. I taped in Sept so it will be good to see how progress is coming with regards to stroke technique.

    I ended up registering for the BU meet next weekend, but only for one day. I will be heading down on Saturday for 100 bk, 50 br, 200 fly, and 100 free. With my lack of consistency in training I opted for the one day to help support swimming in our region, and I like the BU pool.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 11/26/14: noon

    by , November 26th, 2014 at 08:06 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Spent the morning with my son's school bowling during their half day today, and then the snow arrived. Looks like we have a few inches so far, with up to foot or more on the way before morning. The Running of the Turkeys is on for tomorrow, but I'll probably bag it due to the weather. I was able to get in a quick swim today after bowling:

    200 Free/200 Back/200 IM drill
    2 x (50 kick, 200 pull, 100 swim with AP)
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1500 yds/25 min)
    ---------------------------------

    We'll be heading to my brother's house for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow with some sides and desserts. Well, after we get some shoveling done. Enjoy the day, everyone
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 11/22/14: morning

    by , November 22nd, 2014 at 06:44 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Borrowed the main sets from a workout that Tim posted for our masters group this weekend:

    w/u: 2 x (200 swim/100 kick/100 pull) (I did 3x)

    12 x 25 @ :45, done in 4 rounds of:
    * distance per stroke
    * high turnover w/fists
    * combination

    100 pull

    8 x 50 @ 1:10, done as 2 rounds of:
    * build up
    * build down
    * all easy
    * all fast

    100 kick

    4 x 100 @ 3:00, fast

    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2700 yds/75 min)
    ------------------------------------

    Good group today with Melissa and her daughter Emily (home from college), Kevin, and Luiza (an exchange student from Brazil at my son's school), with Tom, Marie, and Kevin B joining in towards the end of practice. They liked the change in pace and did a great job with meeting the goals of the workout. Thanks for posting a great one, Tim!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 11/21/14: noon

    by , November 21st, 2014 at 05:03 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick swim today after a lot of extra hours at work.

    200 swim/200 back/200 im drill
    3 x (50 kick/100 pull/200 swim with AP)
    150 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1800 yds/40 min)
    --------------------------------

    Lots of traffic today, so I just took it easy. Masters tomorrow.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 11/13/14: morning

    by , November 13th, 2014 at 04:43 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    It's that time of year when personal time must us used before it is lost, so I have been picking up shifts the past two weeks plus two more over the next three weeks. I was able to get a two mile jog in Tuesday night before getting today off and swimming this morning. It was not spectacular, but felt good to get into the water:

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill
    2 (100 kick/100 pull/100 swim with AP)
    100 easy
    (Solo/Rec/1300 yds/25 min)

    Told you it was not great! There were some obstacles in the water, so I just enjoyed a nice swim. I then got some fresh studded tires for the front end of my wife's car and went to the chapel service at the college. Off to see Red Green tonight with the family; should be a great night!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 11/04/14: evening

    by , November 4th, 2014 at 11:19 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Haven't been swimming as much as I would like (still), but things are busy these days. Still planning on at least one day at the BU scm meet next month. Enjoyed a great swim with the team tonight, inspired by RickMile's post today ...

    200 swim/200 kick/100 skull-swim/4 x 25 build (plus 100 IM drill)

    200 pull on 4:00 (did 300)
    4 x 25 on :40 build
    150 pull on 3:00 (did 200)
    6 x 25 on :45 sprint
    50 easy kick
    100 pull on 2:00 (did 150)
    8 x 25 on :50 (odds choice, evens sprint)
    4 x 50 on :50 even split
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2250 yds/55 min)
    ----------------------------------

    Great night with Greg, Rachel, and Carol. I look forward to group practices.

    Here is a picture I took today while driving about; fall is fading quickly here in Vermont:
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  15. 10/31/14: nsr

    by , October 31st, 2014 at 09:55 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Well, slightly swimming related ... My jack-o-lantern this year ...

    Categories
    NSR
  16. Workout 10/25/14: morning

    by , October 25th, 2014 at 04:27 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My day off yesterday consisted of my driving an hour north to cover the pharmacy at a sister store for 12 hours, but it is a relatively quiet store so a good change from my nromal hectic pace. Masters today:

    200 swim/200 kick/200 skull-swim/200 IM drill
    4 x 25 build

    Broken Mile:
    3 x 100 on 1:25
    4 x 150 on 2:10
    3 x 200 on 2:50
    3 x 50 on :50

    50 eazy on 1:00, 50 fast (did back - :33)
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2850 yds/65 min)
    --------------------------------

    Good practice today with the crew; the sun is shining after a week of cold rainy days. After practice I went to a meeting with the exchange program, had soup for lunch at a local bakery, now relaxing for the night. Tomorrow morning before church I will help my brother with registration at the annual cyclocross race in town, then off to see my grandmother who fell and had to have her hip repaired. 93 and going strong!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 10/21/14: evening

    by , October 21st, 2014 at 11:06 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Things have been quiet here in SW Vermont, as the Autumn days have turned cooler and the trees have mostly released their colorful leaves for the season. Over Columbus Day weekend I supported my wife as she ran her first ever 5k at the Run or Dye at Stratton Mountain (a "color run" where the participats dump colored dye over themselves before and after the race, in which volunteers toss the stuff at them at various stations on the course). It was a great thing to watch and encourage her to do. Afterwards, I went to the annual Men's Retreat with my son and Greg, making it just for the this final night. Lots of food and two great messages that touched on living lives of integrity, rooted in the love of God for each of us. A great getaway!

    Last week I was absent from all exercise due to a minor issue that popped up in August. Couple that with very busy days at work where flu shot have taken over, it's been a rough couple of weeks. Class and chapel services at the college have been a great refreshment through the stress of work. Got in tonight with the Masters:

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull/200 skull-swim by 25/200 IM drill

    30 sec Vert kick into 250 swim (last 50 fast)
    30 sec Vert kick into 200 swim (last 50 fast)
    30 sec Vert kick into 150 swim (last 50 fast)
    30 sec Vert kick into 100 swim (last 50 fast)

    3 x 50 burst and cruise on 1:05

    30 sec Vert kick into 150 swim (last 50 fast)
    30 sec Vert kick into 150 swim (last 50 fast)
    30 sec Vert kick into 50 fast
    30 sec Vert kick into 50 fast

    3 x 50 burst and cruise on 1:10
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2600 yds + VK/55 min)
    -------------------------------------

    That was a tough workout, but using the swim after the Vert kicking to focus on technique before popping a fast 50 was good. I'm starting to smell like chlorine again, which is always a positive
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  18. Workout 10/07/14: evening

    by , October 7th, 2014 at 10:26 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Good end to my vacation last week, complete with a quick two mile jog on Sunday after church. Busy couple of days to start the week: after work Monday I went to help at the community forum to address opiate addiction as part of my duties with the Rx Abuse Task Force, this morning I was up early for a presentation on adult immunizations at the local Rotary meeting, then a Rx Task Force meeting to debrief from last night (it was very well done), then Chapel and a drop in session with the worship band at the college. Right back to the grind!

    Masters tonight:

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull (plus 200 IM drill)

    Drop-down set:
    200 swim on 4:00 (did 300)
    150 pull on 4:00 (did 250)
    100 kick on 3:00
    150 swim on 4:00 (did 300)
    100 pull on 2:15 (did 150)
    50 kick on 3:00 (did 100)

    8 x 50 on 1:15 (even split 1->4, desc 5->8) I did BK
    12 x 25 on :45 (every third FAST)
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2900 yds/65 min)
    ------------------------------------
    A great swim tonight again with a full pool, as Carol, Melissa, Rachel, Meg and Kevin2 made it to the pool. The team did great with 50's pace work, so we had some extra rest on the descend efforts. A beautiful moon tonight, might try to get up early to see the "blood moon" lunar eclipse, or I might just try to get some
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 10/04/14: morning

    by , October 4th, 2014 at 04:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Well, I found some gumption during the middle part of my staycation and worked for two days at the college library, helping out a mission team from Dothan, AL, rip heating ductwork out of the attic. Although it was messy and I picked up some good cuts, it was a good time. Yesterday I headed out on a long planned motorcycle ride to the town named after my own in the next state over, and the weather was beautiful. I was musing that this time of year, you don't worry much about cars on the side of the road being in trouble, but you look to see where the occupants might be taking some pictures! Here are a couple from yesterday ...





    Great turnout at Masters this morning:

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull
    8 x 50 on 1:15 (videotaping each swimmer, I did one)
    6 x 75 on 1:45 (did 100's)
    4 x 50 kick
    12 x 25 on :45 (odd = choice, evens = Fast
    200 pull (I did 300)
    4 x 50 active recovery and out
    (Masters/Rec/2250 yds/75 min)
    --------------------------------------
    We had a full house with eight swimmers, including Greg, Brent, Melissa, Meg, Rachel, Rebekah, and Kevin. I plan to upload the video to youtube and send out some thoughts to each person individually.

    I went to men's breakfast with my son before practice, and was able to take this picture on the way home:

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 09/30/14: evening

    by , September 30th, 2014 at 10:27 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Went for a two mile run yesterday (which was about 1/3 trails) while the boys watched a soccer game. Staycation so far has been very unproductive, which might not be a bad thing. I will try to help out with some construction projects at the college's library tomorrow, then planning for a long (and overdue) motorcycle ride Thursday.

    Tonight Greg, Carol, and (newcomer) Rachel joined me for a Kiefer inspired workout:
    200 Swim/100 kick/200 Pull (I did an extra 200)
    8 x 25 drill

    2 x
    - 25 kick :10sr
    - 50 choice :10 sr (bk)
    - 75 drill :10
    - 100 hard (went 1:06, :07 by round)

    100 kick

    2 x 200 on :10 (I did 250)
    2 x 50 on :20
    [first round = perfect stroke, second round broken halfway for :10]

    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2200 yds/65 min)
    --------------------------------------

    Updated October 1st, 2014 at 12:42 AM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
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