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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.

Check out my swimmer info page here.

  1. Workout 12/30/13: evening

    by , December 30th, 2013 at 10:50 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Been a while since I was in the pool, yet my GTD thicker has kept moving forward. Slowly. I've been even slower! I knew that I had opportunity for two swims (one tonight and one tomorrow at lunchtime) to knock out the 5017yds in order meet my goal for the year. 1hr 15min tonight, and I decided to go for it

    4 x 1000 on 14:00
    10 x 100 on 1:25
    150 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/5150 yds/90 min)

    My Go The Distance 2013 goal: 300.00 mi. Progress towards goal:
    ! Congratulations! You have achieved your goal for Go The Distance 2013
    My goal pace: 299.18 miles required as of today to reach my goal by the end of the event.
    My actual current pace: 300.08 miles as of today
    I figured that since I was able to do the 6k in ~1:20, and the One Hour in January netted around 4500, I had a shot. With a nearly empty pool and a full water bottle, off I went. I mixed up the thousands to help keep the math correct, then settled into some 100's when I had the time left at the end of all that distance (held 1:15 on them).

    Now I can take tomorrow off!
  2. Workout 12/26/13: am and evening

    by , December 26th, 2013 at 09:59 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Helped a local triathlete out this morning with some swimming tips. Good conditioning but technique helps that I offered were well received. I snuck in some swimming myself, totalling 1500 yds.

    Tonight's main set (total 2200 yds) featured:
    4 x
    - 150 Fr on 2:00 every 3rd lap fast
    - 2 x 75 on 1:15 kick/pull/swim
    - 6 x 25 on :30 IM rotate, every 3rd and 6th fast

    Had a delightful day at home with family for Christmas. Found this neat quote I wanted to share: "The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity –hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory – because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later he might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard, or will hear.” – J.I. Packer, Knowing God
    Swim Workouts
  3. Workouts 12/22-3/13: pm and am

    by , December 23rd, 2013 at 11:19 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Not much to share, other than 2000yds yesterday in warm water after waiting 50 min for guard to stroll in. Cooler water this morning, 1900yds in 35min.

    5 miles to 300, with 4 days left to squeak it in
    Swim Workouts
  4. 12/21/13: morning

    by , December 21st, 2013 at 02:08 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Masters this morning, and given the Yule Time season I thought that this fun workout posted this week to the USMS main page was would be a great one for the team. You can find it and other sets at:

    The Grinch Stole my Practice
    Fellow marathon swimmer and Turkey Trot (Not) participant, Bill Shipp of Mitchellville, Md., has a special 3,000-yard holiday-themed workout: a fun concoction of swimming and holiday references with lots of sprinting (bah humbug!).

    Chestnuts Roasting: 600 warm-up I did 800

    Grinch’s Lament: “Their mouths will hang open a minute or two, Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry, ‘Boo Hoo!’” I did fly, others had stroke option

    5 x 100:
    » 25 fly, 75 free
    » 50 fly, 50 free
    » 75 fly, 25 free
    » 50 fly, 50 free
    » 25 fly, 75 free

    Reindeer Games, aka Speed Work: Coach Comet announces, “My job is to make bucks out of you.”

    1 x 100 all out on 3:00
    2 x 50 all out on 1:30
    1 x 100 all out on 3:00
    2 x 50 all out on 1:30

    When you feel like slowing down, just remember, Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second—that’s 3,000 times the speed of sound—to deliver all those toys in one night. How fast are you going? That’s right, not fast enough. Keep going.

    Bumbles Bounce: Rudolph: “But you fell off the edge of the cliff.” Yukon Cornelius: “Didn’t I ever tell you about Bumbles? Bumbles bounce.”

    Streamline push off the bottom. Butterfly kick out of the water as high as you can go. Hold it. Repeat 10 times.

    Grinch's Reprise: “And what happened then...? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!”

    300 social kick

    Coach Ebenezer Scrooge’s Set: “If they’d rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population.” I did this solo

    1 x 400 IM (rest 5 seconds on each 25 fly)
    100 easy
    1 x 400 reverse IM (nothing says Scrooge like a 400 reverse IM)
    100 easy

    Joy to the World: Linus: “And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy,” because the workout is over after this warm down!

    200 cool down
    (Masters/Rec/I did 3200 yds/90 min)

    This was a great workout! The water was hot so we took our time, doing the Lament on 2:10. My fast efforts on the Reindeer Games were not all that fast, but I changed up strokes. No one else wanted to join me on the Scrooge set, so I saved that little gem for myself for the end of practice. Plans for the rest of the day include relaxing some more and making some cookies for the neighbors.
    Swim Workouts
  5. Workout 12/20/13: noon

    by , December 20th, 2013 at 01:16 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Busy day today, as I am helping my wife prepare for our 18th annual Leake Family Lasagna dinner, but I was able to sneak in a lunch time swim:

    200 Fr/200 IM drill/200 Bk

    kick swim
    050 100
    100 200
    150 300
    200 400

    4 x 50 IMO b/c on :50, then 50 ez

    200 Dolphin Dives in the Deep
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2750 yds/50 min)

    The pool was mildly crowded today, and I moved around a bit to avoid circle swimming. But it's worth it to be able to swim in a straight line

    Updated December 21st, 2013 at 01:55 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 12/17/13: evening

    by , December 17th, 2013 at 09:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The snow kept coming down, as we picked up another 4 inches today. That placid snowfall, where the clouds are low, the snow is falling as if you were in a snow globe, and the quiet is loud, save the winds swirling about overhead and the odd passing car. I really enjoy it when it snows.

    I got a call from the Rec saying that they would be closing early, since the Marauders called off their practice. So instead of swimming at 7:30, I jetted over for 5pm adult swim. No more than 4 people in the whole pool all night.

    100 FR warmup

    Jbs's Sweedish 1:01 50's
    - start on the :10, swim 50yds and finish before :60. Go on the :11 (hence the 1:01), you get the drift...
    - I did: kick, FR, BR, BK, FLY in that order, and changed to FR once I failed. I missed the kick and BR in the :20 block, back and fly in the :25 block, and failed the FR on the :31 sendoff. I think I missed the :32 the last time we did this as a team, so I was pleased with results.

    - 50 kick on :60,
    - 50 's on :60, as: easy FR down, cruise and BURST IMO back
    - 50 kick on :60
    - 50's on :60, as: BURST and cruise IMO down, easy back

    5 x 100 on 1:40 (did as Shark Swim)

    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2300 yds/50 min)

    That "Sweedish" set is nice, done either as 50's on 1:01 or 100's on 2:01. Jbs and the Maine Gang do some fun stuff

    So, I can add to today 3 sessions of shoveling drylands. The snow was light and powdery, and since the temps are cold the roads are rally messy (they don't drop salt when it is below a certain temp). The boys game was canceled earlier, and there might be a delay tomorrow moring. "The weather outside is frightfull..."
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 12/17/13: noon

    by , December 17th, 2013 at 01:47 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Day off, resting. Nice to have some every now and again. Swim at lunchtime:

    200 Fr/200 IM Drill/200 Bk

    1 x 100 kick on 2:00
    1 x 100 Fr on 1:20
    1 x 100 kick on 2:00
    2 x 100 Fr on 1:20
    1 x 100 kick on 2:00
    3 x 100 Fr on 1:20
    1 x 100 kick on 1:20
    4 x 50 on :45 (easy FR down, fast IMO back)
    1 x100 kick

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2100 yds/35 min)

    It's been snowing lightly but steady since about 10am. Temp was -5 here this morning as I brought the kids to school. Some errands to do before watching my boys play bball this afternoon. Dinner at a local pizza place then to Masters tonight. I'm hopeful that the Rec won't close early due to weather - we're expecting a few inches in addition to the 11 that came during the weekend.
    Swim Workouts
  8. Workout 12/15/13: afternoon

    by , December 15th, 2013 at 03:03 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    So, my plan was to have the blog title indicate a meet report, but due to the snow storm moving through the region and my getting home from work last night around 6:30 after it started, I decided that the three hour drive either last night or this morning was not worth the risk of an accident. So, I traded my racing jammers for a snow blower and shovel and stayed home enjoying a nice storm.

    I did head to the Rec for a swim since I had the day off.

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill
    4 x 50 kick, 4 x 50 b/c on 1:00

    2 x
    - 1 x 300 on 5:00
    - 3 x 100 on 1:45 IM descend
    - 2 x 150 on 2:00 (fast middle 50)
    - 1 x 50 ez on 1:45

    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/3000 yds/55 min)

    Well, enjoying the day, and the snow!
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 12/12/13: morning

    by , December 12th, 2013 at 09:27 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    1400yds nice and easy today.

    Funny, I looked up the link to that Stewart posted to his drag suit, and now the Google ads at the top of the page wants me buy the Finis Ultimate Drag Suit, from Metro no less. Cool or creepy?
    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 12/11/13

    by , December 11th, 2013 at 02:04 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    1700 yds taper swim at lunchtime in 35min. Did some sprint 25s that felt good. Still trying to find balance with backstroke turnover and body position. Slept in this morning which was a welcomed treat!

    Full info for the New England/Colonies scm champs are up at
    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 12/09/13: morning

    by , December 9th, 2013 at 09:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Not too much to say, as I had less than 30 min to swim today due to a doctors appointment before work. Did a meet warmup, minus block starts, totaling 1400yds in just under 25 min.

    After the Thorpe Set on Sat I was bushed and just took it easy. Went to a ham dinner at my buddy Rick's church and watched "Homerun" with my wife, then took the family (minus my natural children) to the Yankee Candle flagship store in Deerfield, MA, yesterday. Always a great adventure!
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 12/7/13: morning

    by , December 7th, 2013 at 02:08 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    SFeeling a little stiff today, aded to practice with a plan to change that.

    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
    8 x 25 on :45 (o = FR drill, e = stroke FAST)

    "Thorpe Test Set"
    - 16 x 50 on :50 (every 4th 50 @200 pace) (28,28,29,28 = 1:53)
    - 12 x 50 on 1:00 (every 3rd 50 @200 pace) (27,28,27,27 = 1:49)
    - 8 x 50 on 1:10 (every 2nd 50 @200 pace) (27,26,28,29 = 1:50)
    - 4 x 50 on 1:20 (every 50 @200 pace) (30,28,28,29 = 1:55)

    200 lossen (more like float) and out
    (Masters/Rec/2800 yds/70 min)

    Haven't done this little doozy in a while and thought that it would be good to share with the team. Well, GregJS was in for a treat, and he brought a treat as well - delicious pumpkin pie! After the swim we shared a bite, then he let me bring the rest home to share with the family. Now, to relax a bit this weekend ...

    Updated December 7th, 2013 at 02:17 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 12/6/13: noon

    by , December 6th, 2013 at 10:22 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Start of my 10-12 taper with focus meet in 8 days - opps

    200 Fr/200 IM Drill/200 BK

    3 x (50 kick into 150 Shark Swim on 3:00)
    2 x (50 BK DPS :60, 75 BK DPS into 25 BK AFAP on 2:00)
    50 ez

    2 x
    - 4 x 25 b/c (Rd 1 = FR on :40, Rd 2 = BK on :45)
    - 1 x 50 ez
    - 4 x 25 b/c on :45 IMO FAST
    - 1 x 50

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2550 yds/60 min)

    I signed up for the BU meet today, and am looking forward to racing next Sunday. I also put up the Christmas tree and outside decorations, so staying injury-free is the plan until the meet.

    Updated December 6th, 2013 at 10:31 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  14. Workouts 12/03/13: morning and noon

    by , December 3rd, 2013 at 10:26 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Woke up for a Masters double:

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill/4x50 b/c on :50

    4 x 100 on 1:25 (Fr, except last 25 FAST IMO)
    1 x 100 Fr FAST (went 1:06)
    1 x 100 loosen

    4 x [100 kick on 1:50, 50 on :60 (25 FAST IMO into 25 Fr easy)]

    Build a 200 IM (5th 200 = IM = 2:44)
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/3200 yds/55 min)

    Finished this at 9am, and finished up hanging lights on the front porch.. All set save the extension cords , which magically go missing from the tote holding the Christmas decorations. Every year. I went to Chapel at 11am, then headed back to the pool for the last 35 of adult swim (since I had to miss Masters this evening):

    200 Fr
    500 Shark Swim
    4 x 125 IM on 2:00 (last 50 same stroke, rotate first stroke IMO)
    1 x Noah's Ark
    4 x 75 on 1:10 (50 Fr into 25 IMO FAST)
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2100 yds 35 min)

    This might remotely qualify for a Stewart Training Triple dip, although at a third the volume! Will start to tranistion to more speed sets as it looks like I will make the BU scm meet next weekend for Sunday. I'm planning to swim the 200 back and 100 im, and driving over and back for the day, swimming in the morning (and visiting some forumites), then heading out on the town with the family for the afternoon.

    Oh, Jinho and Preston's team won their first basketball game tonight, as did Lina's girls team. All saw playing time and make a basket. And we ate at Red Robin to cap the night!
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  15. Workout 12/02/13: evening

    by , December 2nd, 2013 at 11:15 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Busy weekend at work catching up after the holiday. Yesterday I went to the nursing home for service, then my sister-in-law's baby shower, then church. I guess the two cups of coffee at the shower were full caff, as I couldn't get to sleep until after 2:30 overnight. Skipped a swim before work.

    Time crunched afternoon and evening today after work, and I was able to sneak in a quick swim before men's group:

    300 fr with snorkel/200 bk/200 im drill
    4 x 50 Quarters Strong on :50

    50 kick/100 ap/200 pull with buou
    (Solo/Rec/1600 yds/25 min)

    Will try to double tomorrow but will have to miss masters as I head to Latham for the kids basketball games. Maybe Red Robins on the way home?
    Swim Workouts