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Open Water

My non-pool dips and discussions

  1. Workout 09/06/15: OW

    by , September 6th, 2015 at 11:04 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Searsburg Reservoir:

    This was my first time swimming in here, and the last group swim of the summer. I drove over with Matt and met Greg at the parking area. This is a smaller body of water, the second reservoir of the Deerfield River that pools up for electricity generation. I have a track of the swim noted here:

    On the northeast side of the bowl we found the river spilling in, and to the southeast a white building, where water flows over a spillway and on to another reservoir. Water on the surface was great, around 74°f, but just two or three feet below our catch yielded cold water, about ten degrees cooler. Notice that one lonely tree has fallen victim to fall foliage, the only one thus far that I have seen.

    Here is a picture looking east from the parking area:
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  2. Workout 09/02/15: OW

    by , September 2nd, 2015 at 10:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Summer doldrums, especially with the Rec closed. Last weekend Lena and I took a quick overnight to Connecticut for some beach therapy (I only did a ten minute swim) and then we stayed overnight with my Aunt and Uncle. Bonus...fresh CT peaches!

    Went for a dip at Paran tonight solo, 3/4 of a mile as the sun set.
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  3. Workout 08/25/15: OW Raponda

    by , August 25th, 2015 at 10:47 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Today classes started at the college so I went to Chapel this morning, then worked on fixing a broken privacy blind on the side porch.

    The Rec is closed so I set up four OW swims over the next two weeks. Today was at Raponda, and Greg and Rachel came along with my wife! I have been helping her with becoming more comfortable breathing, and she swam about 800yds out to the raft and back while we went out on the lake. I really proud of her for rocking her first open water lake swim! We logged just over a mile on the east side of the lake, as a powerboat or two stayed on the western shore.

    Here's a picture from before the swim...

    Updated August 25th, 2015 at 10:53 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  4. Workout 08/22/15: OW Raponda

    by , August 22nd, 2015 at 10:40 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I woke up early today to help escort my friend Tim. He concocted a homegrown Iron Man triathlon, swimming 2.4 miles over at Raponda, then a 112 mile bike ride through three states, and finally a marathon 26.2 mile run. All on his own, which has to be the most difficult thing to do!

    I was able to stay for half of his swim before leaving for work. Tim was smooth in the water and had a lot of friends to help - Melissal, Rachel (fresh off their IM Mount Trebulant in Canada last week), and Rachel's husband were on SUPs, Tim's oldest son kayaked, and Carol swam the whole way.

    He finished in just over 14 hours (he had some issues during the run and ended up powerwalking for over half the distance) to a crowd of 50 or more cherring at the finish line at our local HS. A great feat!

    Some pics I took can be found here on fb.

    Updated August 25th, 2015 at 10:51 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  5. Workout 07/18/15: morning OW

    by , July 19th, 2015 at 12:30 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Up early this morning for a swim at Woodford State Park, and it was just Greg and myself to enjoy the solitude of the overcast and rather gloomy morning before some rain moved in. We did a quick swim of 0.6 miles. Off to help my father-in-law as he and his wife renew their vows, then I will get some lawn work done (if the grass drys out) and finally to Manchester with my son for a Led Zeppelin tribute band tonight.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Greg embarking on our journey)

    (Short clip from today - notice that the water is almost tea-link in color due to the high tannin content. Wild to swim in)

    [I am still having issues with water droplets on the housing of the GoPro. I guess I will have to try some rain-ex, or maybe the shark spit I use in the goggles from time to time. I would also be interested in an suggestions for mounts.]

    Updated July 21st, 2015 at 12:48 AM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , USA-S Swim Meets / Events , Open Water
  6. Workout 07/14/15: OW

    by , July 14th, 2015 at 10:41 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The rain held off so I was able to get my double in. I rode over to Wilmington with Melissa and Tim, meeting Greg there. The sky was a mix of overcast clouds interspersed with bright blue patches and the sun trying to shine through. We did a one mile loop in about 40 minutes, and after finishing enjoyed some raspberries that I picked from my backyard. Another delightful evening for a mid summer swim!

    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  7. Workout 07/04/15; OW Swim

    by , July 4th, 2015 at 08:48 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Made the quick trip over Lake Paran this morning for a dip with our team. We stayed in the chilly water (due to all the recent rain) for just under 40 minutes and logged 1.3km as I spent most of the time playing with the GoPro camera again. Just beat the rain but noticed a proliferation of weeds ...

    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  8. Workout 06/24/15: OW

    by , June 25th, 2015 at 01:01 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    As promised, I was able to make it down to the Berkshires to join the Simon's Rock group for their Wednesday night swim. Tonight we splashed at Laurel Lake, which is about 75 minutes from home and one that I have not yet visited. Lena and Preston came along, dropping me off at the beach and heading out to explore while we swam.

    There were ten of us in total, including some new faces and a first time OW swimmer. I managed to attach the GoPro camera to my safe swimmer buoy but as I suspected there was little balance so it is a wild ride to watch!
    I did manage to get some decent shots when I was not swimming, although I discovered that water on the housing can distort the picture ...

    We headed southwest from the Lenox Town Beach with our buoys on and John's wife yaking, towards a beach rought 1/3 of a mile away. After a quick break, we made our way towards the large green field on the far end of the lake, following the southerly edge until we hit the shore. After another short break we aimed back to the start along the northerly edge, completing a total of 1.37 miles in just over 58 minutes.

    As you can see from the pics, the water was not too choppy (especially on the way back) and the sky was so blue. The moon was hanging out among the vast blue canopy, and just some soft fair weather clouds drifted by the horizon. Air temp was about 75 with the water at 69...simply refreshing!

    We did not join the group for a potluck afterwards, instead starting the trip back home. It was weird not having Brent join us as he is off in Germany, but I love the camaraderie that this team exudes and the fact that they let me tag along! Here's to more adventures in the Berkshires this summer!

    Updated June 25th, 2015 at 01:55 AM by rxleakem

    Tags: berkshires
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  9. Workout 05/25/15: morning OW

    by , May 25th, 2015 at 10:08 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Earliest OW Swim for me, joining my tri buddy Tim for a dip at Lake Paran. Air was about 65f, water 5 degrees cooler, overcast with occasional drizzle. Forgot my earplugs. We stayed in for about 35min and covered 0.85 miles. Felt great to get back to the OW!

    Afterwards I took the boys to the Basketball Hall of Fame with lunch at Cracker Barrel and a quick visit to Yankee Candle on the way home. A good day.
  10. 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
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Open Water
  11. End of summer OWSwims

    by , September 1st, 2014 at 06:23 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I haven't been blogging but have managed to get in some nice swims over the past two weeks...

    Went to CT for a couple of nights with the family to cap the end of the summer, staying in a cottage on the CT river in the town of Chester. We were able to spend some time in Westbrook and I was able to spend a little over 20 minutes on 8/21 in these rollers for a total of 0.66 miles:


    On 8/26 I met up with GregJS and Meg from our Masters team at Lake Raponda for a easy mile as the sun began to lower after a warm and humid day. So refreshing!


    On 8/30 I joined Meg and Greg at Woodford State Park for a brisk morning swim. It is a beautiful park with cold water that is very dark, almost as if one is swimming through tea. The wind was strong but the sun helped to keep us warm en route to our 3/4 mile swim in just over 30 minutes.


    The pool will reopen tomorrow, but I most likely won't get back before next week. NEM SCM Champs at BU will be Dec 12-14, so I have some time to get prepared

    Classes at the Bible college started last week, and I will make it this week (because of work). Looking forward to a profitable semester.
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  12. Workout 08/06/14: OW

    by , August 6th, 2014 at 10:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Met up with Brent for a drive to NY's Queechy Lake with our Berkshire buddies. The day was warm but nice, and only Jonathan and Shawn (I think that was his name) made it. This is a favorite lake as the weeds are minimal, generally low traffic on the water and water is clear. Tonight did not disappoint even for our small group. The water was not too cold but just plain refreshing. We swam a large rectangle around the lake as usually and ended up with 1.15 miles in just under 40 minutes. While driving back to Brent's work to drop him off we ran into GregJS on his way to the theater - a quick and fun meeting!

    Tags: berkshires
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  13. Workout 07/20/14: OW

    by , July 20th, 2014 at 10:30 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    It was overcast this morning for our planned swim at Lake Paran, so my only companions in the water was this gaggle of ducks. I swam for about 20 minutes, enjoying the cloud cover blanketing the surrounding hills and the fun sparrows flying overhead. An rather large trout (which are stocked in this lake) darted right underneath me. A fun 0.45 mile stretch-out swim after yesterdays meet.

    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  14. Workout 07/10/14: OW evening

    by , July 10th, 2014 at 11:33 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Wow, back to back OW dips! After last night's most excellent adventure in the Berkshires, I met with Greg and Melissa at Lake Paran closer to home. The water was in the low 70 's with some very refreshing cold spots. We did two loops near the boat launch on the south side of the lake before Melissa headed home, then Greg and I investigated the weeds in the middle. I logged 1.15 relaxed miles in just over 50 minutes.

    Updated July 10th, 2014 at 11:58 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  15. Workout 07/09/14: OW evening

    by , July 9th, 2014 at 11:18 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    With storm clouds rolling into town, I headed south to the Berkshires of Massachusetts to join the Simon's Rock crew for a Wednesday evening open water swim (my first). I picked up my buddy Brent in Williamstown and we car pooled down to meet up with the crew. Instead of a swim from the public boat launch on the southern part of Goose Pond we journeyed to the northern end of the Lake for what was dubbed an epic swim, which did not disappoint.

    (Looking east along the north end of Goose Pond. The canal is along the northern edge of the lake)

    The water was rough in the main lake, with small whitecaps forming and strongly pushing us towards the opening of the canal. Goose spills into a protected reserve called Upper Goose Pond, which is actually on the Application Trail route in the area and is totally undeveloped. Swimming through the canal was indeed a treat, made possible due to some heavy storms over the past few days. The trees formed a strong canopy over the passage, and I kept feeling like I was moving through a scene from an Indian Jones movie! Goose is pretty deep, but the canal was quite shallow in places and full of some wonderful rocks and schools of fish to follow.

    (Here is Todd coming through the winding passage)

    The view from the other side, into Upper Goose Pond, was absolutely stunning and the water was transformed from a rough swell to near placid conditions. The sun was starting to lower as we headed out to explore the small island and take a short break before heading back through the canal to our launch beach.

    (The pod of swimmers, nine in total, as we headed away from the mouth of the canal to the island right of center with our safe swimmer buoys in tow)

    We swam into the sun the whole way back, and once we returned to Goose Pond after the canal the churning water met us along with the wind. It was a tough swim back but we were able to sight off a lone tall tree on the northern edge of the lake.

    The conditions (despite the wind) were most ideal for a swim, with the water in the upper 60's and the air in the upper 70's. Our track shows a 1.77 mile jaunt in total, and the storms affected my area did not materialize during our swim. Besides the tremendous beauty of the area and the great fellowship with the swimmers there, the previous few times this particular path for this swim has been aborted due to the summertime storms that seem to flare up so quickly. I was so excited to be able to join in this adventure!
    Tags: berkshires
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  16. Workout 07/06/14: morning OWS

    by , July 6th, 2014 at 01:26 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Headed to Lake Paran again this morning for a swim and I invited the team along. Kevin came, but did not stay for very long. I stayed in for about 30 minutes, logging 0.7 miles in the increasingly weedy 68 degree water. Here is a picture I snapped before heading back to the car:

    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  17. Workout 05/29/14: afternoon OW

    by , May 29th, 2014 at 04:55 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Finally made it to the lake today for my first OW swim of the year

    Lake Paran:
    1.12 miles in 36 minutes
    61 = water temp
    62 = air temp
    Full sunshine

    Quite a few folks out fishing, but no lake traffic. Paran doesn't allow motor traffic, anyways. The water was refreshing and mostly clear as I started off from the boat launch towards the beach with some backstroke to get used to the temp and keep my breathing under control. I made my way to the eastern part of the lake and found some vegetation and fish in the shallower areas. The wind picked up as I headed back towards the beach, then I watched a guy videotaping a group of people on the beach. I met back up with my wife and then dried off in the sun as some of the folks fishing were asking what I was doing.

    The group in the Berkshires have started their lake swims, so I hope to get down that way a few times this summer for the fellowship and meals afterwards. Williams is shut down for the summer for renovations, which means that nearby LCM is out. I also heard that the outdoor pool in Hoosick Falls is also staying dry, so my opportunity to getting outside will rest in OW adventures.
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  18. Workout 10/16/13: evening

    by , October 16th, 2013 at 10:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Back after a great weekend at the Men's Retreat in NH. I met my buddy to ride over Friday afternoon, but we stopped to visit a dear old saint that I consider a surrogate grandfather. Ed is 90 years old, and has been a big encouragement in my walk with Christ, even giving me a great commentary and a guide to the BIble. He has not been well for a while, but recently was diagnosed with liver cancer and some blot clots in his lungs, and not much time left. We prayed with him and he prayed for us - amazing.

    We headed over and enjoyed great food and teaching. I went for a swim again this year on Saturday, 1.57 miles under cloudy skies in 60 degree water, then we went on a motorcycle ride with Rick's friend Paul. We got back to the camp ground and GregJS came over for supper and the Saturday evening service, so he got to met some of the guys and enjoy a split!

    Back to work on Monday, with a complete computer crash and a crazy busy day yesterday as we tried to catch back up. I slept in today after dropping the kids off at school, and went for a swim before supper tonight:

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill/4 x 50 b/c on :50, 200 IM drill

    10 x 100 with snorkel, as
    - odds = kick with board on 1:50
    - evens = FR with AP and pull buoy on 1:20

    3 x 150 on 2:05 (shift 50 Bk end to front), 50 ez
    2 x 150 on 2:05 (shift 100 bk end to front), 50 ez
    1 x 150 Bk (went 1:48), 50 ez

    4 x 125 IM on 2:00 (first 25 drill, shuffle starting stroke)
    1 x Noah's Ark, with last 200 as loosen
    (Solo/Rec/4050 yds/70 min)

    I felt pretty good in the water, and am still on target for my GTD! I skipped running on Monday, and will pick up on the weekend.

    Updated October 17th, 2013 at 12:36 AM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  19. Workout 10/08/13:OW + evening

    by , October 8th, 2013 at 10:29 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Got some extra sleep after dropping the kids off at school, then went to Chapel at college before lunch. My daughter was home so I enlisted her to drive and hand out as I headed to Lake Paran for another swim. With the weekend overcast and raining, plus the showers last night, my assumption of lower water temps were correct. Near the edge of the water I measured 57 degrees, so I disrobed and headed in with air temps around 60 and a fair bit of wind-driven ripples dancinging on the surface.

    I took ViveBene's advice and after a few stokes of free I flipped over to back until I reached the beach on the other side. Checked the temp again to find a temp today of 55! Three degrees below last week's swim. I pressed on, aided by silicone ear plugs, another hint I picked up for helping with cold water swims. Ended up swimming 0.65 miles in About 23 minutes. The folliage is on the downswing here, especially with last night storms.

    I enjoyed a warm coffee and snack in the car, all the while remembering that delightful ginger tea that Greg had at the ready after the Harriman swim in June. Emma snapped some pics, so I'll have to get them from her. Apparently, before I started in she snap-chated a nice pic of my backside, so I'll try to find that for your viewing pleasure.

    Took me about 2.5 hours to actually warm up, in which time I mowed the lawn and headed up to a soccer game. Late start, so we got home as supper was being served - I got to think of my supper all practice. GegJS and I took on a good one tonight:

    - 200 swim/200 kick/200 pull
    - 4 x 50 B/C on 1:00 (I was and only did 2)

    1 x 100 on 2:00 (did 150 with snorkel and AG)
    4 x 25 on :45 AFAP
    1 x 200 on 3:30 (did 250 pull)
    4 x 25 on :45 AFAP
    1 x 300 on 5:00 (did 350)
    4 x 25 on :45 AFAP
    1 x 400 on 7:00 (did 500 as Noah's Ark = 6:09)
    4 x 25 on :45 AFAP

    200 Loosen and out (did 250)
    (Masters/Rec/2600 yds/55 min)

    Fair amount of swimming today with some other fun. Planning to jog tomorrow night, then swim again on Friday before heading out of town to a Men's Retreat for the weekend.

    Updated October 9th, 2013 at 08:05 AM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  20. Workout 10/03/13: OW

    by , October 3rd, 2013 at 10:43 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I was able to pound the pavement again today and went for 2.3 mile run in just over 24 minutes this morning. I was not really feeling like it, but since I didn't run on Tues due to the (scrubbed) OW swim on Wed, I pushed myself out the door. It worked out well, since I had time after some Rx Task Force stuff to knock out before going to the college for Chapel. Lena and I had lunch out, then I headed over to Lake Paran for an OW swim.

    The weather the past week has been gorgeous, with hardly no precipitation and daytime highs in the low to mid 70's under almost fully sunny skies. Never happens on my vacations! haha I couldn't get into the normal parking lot above the beach due to construction, so I went the back way to the boat launch on the other side. No one was around at 2pm, so I ventured into the water.

    "Cold" I thought as I tried to splash some water on my body. After my belly button dipped below, "wicked cold." I reserved myself just to swim to the beach, where I measured the temperature. 58 degrees. I could tell it was under 60 since I swam heads-up free the whole way. Since I didn't turn into a popsicle on the way over, I worked at keeping control of my breathing and went to the far northern edge, aiming for a beautiful red-leaved tree. I finally got over the "ice-cream" headache after eight minutes, but then my neck was super stiff. I expected this, but not the discomfort for as long as it lasted (about 15 minutes). No wonder other endurance athletes use warm water drips around their necks!

    As I circled back to the launch, I was startled by some orbs of green globs in places. The water is shallower in that area, and I don't need any help getting freaked out in the OW. (I still think of that "Jason" clip Tim posted last year with dread, especially when I swim alone.) I made it back to the area of the van, then did a smaller loop. Oddly, there was an older lady, in her 70's, doing breaststroke near the beach. Back and forth she went. Cool.

    So, to test my cold water tolerance, I made it 0.91 miles in 58 degree water in just over 30 minutes. That temp is 4 degrees colder than my previous low. Like the limbo, I'll try it again next week, as long as Jason stays away.
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
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