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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 07/26/14: morning

    by , July 26th, 2014 at 09:20 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I've been having a blast with my brother and his family, and was able to convince him to join me at the pool this morning for masters practice. He was the distance/IM force to beat here in VT in the early 90's then UMass for college, but I suspect he hasn't been in the pool in at least eight years. My wife also splashed in and did mostly her own thing but on our intervals....

    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
    4 x 25 stroke work
    2 x 200 on 4:00 neg split
    400 fr breathe 3/4/5/6 by 25
    3 x 100 on 2:10 even split
    300 swim/pull, breathing only to the west wall of the pool
    8 x 50 on 1:10 (descend 1-4, 5-8)
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2500 yds/65 min)
    ------------------------------------

    Bry and Greg joined me in doing the whole workout! Rebecca missed a little warmup, but was swimming after we left. Nadine was in for half the practice and then Kevin came in for a bit. Lena also swam for an hour, her longest workout yet! I am so proud of her.

    We hung out and grabbed some pizza for lunch before the grand reunion party this evening. It was great to see relatives young and old from near and far. A great treat was the ability for us to head back to our childhood home and walk through it, sharing it with our families. My crew remembers living the house because they were wee ones when we moved from the apartment out back, but the their cousins had never seen it. Here is a picture of the barns that my dad and his dad before him ran, wonderfully restored by my father's cousin and his wife:

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 07/23/14: morning

    by , July 23rd, 2014 at 07:56 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I ran 2 miles last night after work, a hot and muggy 20 minutes. A quick swim this morning at the Rec, and it was packed. I did 1200yds in about 20 min. My oldest brother and family are visiting from Washington State, so I'll be spending a good bit of time with them over the next week. Big extended family reunion this Saturday.
    Not sure how much swimming I'll be getting in.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  3. Workout 07/20/14: OW

    by , July 20th, 2014 at 09:30 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.

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  4. 07/19/14: Baystate Games Day 1

    by , July 19th, 2014 at 11:13 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Just back from Springfield College in Massachusetts for the first day of the 2014 Baystate Games , my first LCM meet! I swam lcm once or twice last year with Brent and then the year before that with Tom in the Philly area; otherwise, I have never been in lcm. The meet is set up with the kids swimming the in the morning to make finals, but the masters (19-34, 35-49, 50+) swam timed finals of mixed events after the kids heats. 6 lanes with no separate warmup lanes. GregJS decided (after some arm turning by his coach) to give the meet a try, so I met up at his place and we carpooled down.

    Noon warmups and a 12:30 start for the 400 Free; I got in 1000m. Greg did not want to do this, but since there was a flat registration fee entitling one to swim up to 4 events on the weekend, he did it and held a comfortable pace throughout. I was in the final heat and missed the opportunity to warmup, feeling stiff through the first 200. I was pleased with a 5:15 final time.

    Then there was a brake in the action and we wandered around to the basketball area and concession stand before relaxing on a bench outside the pool. We headed in to evening warmups about 20 minutes after the 3:30 opening before the 4:30 start (did 700m). 400 IM for masters was first, and I finished at 5:57. With no easy swimming, I took Greg's advice of some easy stretching under a hot shower.

    I watched Greg swim an inspiring 100 breast, which I will let him describe. I then splashed in for the 100 back and cranked out a 1:09.42 I felt like I had a great start and 10 sdk's before settling into a strong first half; then 10 skd's before motoring back.

    The last event of the night was the 50 free, and I watched Greg sneak under :30 in a beautiful swim. I was in the last heat and flubbed the start a bit but ended up with a 28.31, a great swim for me. I wanted to take just one breath, but after all of that swimming on the day I ended up taking three. I then did an easy 150 warmdown, totaling 2800 meters on the day.

    Here is a shot of the pool (Art Linkletter Natatorium):


    Great swag for swimmers: tee-shirt and latex cap for all, and medals for placing 1-3 as well as a windbreaker (per person) if you finish 1-4. I ended the day with two golds and two silvers, and Greg brought home two three bronzes! We decided to just swim the one day, so tomorrow the competetion continues without us. It was a neat format with the kids and masters swimming together, and as always it was fun to connect with my swim buddies in the area as well as make some new connections.
  5. Workout 07/18/14: noon

    by , July 18th, 2014 at 02:41 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick dip today, meet warm up of 1400 yards + a fast 50 back (~:30). Feeling pretty good ahead of the meet tomorrow.

    Last night was the Midnight Madness event in our town, with the shops closing up around 4pm, then reopening from 7-12 with great sales, plus vendors on the sidewalks and specials at the local restaurants [pictures here: http://goo.gl/sQNr19]. After work, I met with my son at the chippie in our town for supper, then my wife for a little shopping before heading to a booth set up by my boss that highlighted deer ticks and lyme disease. They were very busy in the early evening with lots of questions, but as night fell the families went home and the tomfoolerly picked up. After the cops broke up something a bit down the street, my boss decided it was time to pack things up around 9:45. I then went with my daughter to get some new running sneakers and some shoes for work.

    It's a fun time, although when I was a kid the streets would be closed off but some poor behavior has kept the streets open to traffic. We used to be able to go to the CB Sports factory for great deals on winter coats/snowpants, and while some of those opportunities have ceased it is still a wonderful community event.

    Greg, you ready for tomorrow's 400 Free ???

    Updated July 18th, 2014 at 03:00 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 07/15/14: noon

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 05:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Masters practice was canceled tonight due to an away age-group meet being moved to our pool due to weather concerns, so I emailed the group last night and went for a swim at lunch time after running some errands.

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill/200 kick-drill

    4 x
    - 25 b/c fr into 25 stroke IMO easy (then 100 easy)
    - 25 stroke IMO fast into easy free (then 100 easy)

    - 50 Fast Fr

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1650 yds/40 min)
    ----------------------------------

    Good workout. I am feeling slow in the water, but still very much ready for the meet this weekend. I am planning to carpool with GregJS, and we discussed details at the pool this afternoon. We went in on a Keifer order and I was able to get some good deals on a USMS sweatshirt and caps, as well as a new endurance square-leg suit.

    Finishing organizing/honey-do-list's now before supper, then I'll get ready for a couple of days at work followed by a quick swim on Friday.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 07/14/14: evening

    by , July 14th, 2014 at 08:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After a busy weekend of work and then activities at church, I was happy to get out of work early today and rest a bit at home before a swim this evening. The pool was a bit crowded so I was not able to get in what I had planned, but I was able to do ...

    200 Fr/200 IM drill
    200 kick

    2 x
    - 4 x (3 x 25 on traffic:, as sprint, sprint, easy, the 2 fast IMO)
    - 200 Pull with buoy fast

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1800 yds/40 min)
    --------------------------------

    I was able to get a 2 mile jog in on Saturday night, and I have been a little sore from the open water adventures last week. I'm looking forward to the Baystate Games this coming weekend at Springfield College in Mass. I am signed up for just Saturday, doing:
    400 Free
    400 IM
    100 Back
    50 Free

    Out to be an interesting day, befitting my first ever LCM meet. I haven't been very consistent with training over the past few months (and haven't been in a long course pool since last summer), but I am looking forward to the challenge of LCM! The 400 free swims around noon, and then the rest of the meet starts at 4:30 - I plan to use the 400 IM as an extended cooldown/warmup before the 100 back.

    Edit: found the psyche sheets here.

    Updated July 14th, 2014 at 08:34 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  8. Workout 07/10/14: OW evening

    by , July 10th, 2014 at 10:33 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 10:58 PM by rxleakem

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

    by , July 9th, 2014 at 10:18 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
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  10. Workout 07/06/14: morning OWS

    by , July 6th, 2014 at 12:26 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:

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  11. Workout 07/05/14: morning

    by , July 5th, 2014 at 06:52 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Our Fourth of July festivities were washed out yesterday, including my swim at a local lake. No worries, I was able to catch up on some preparation for this weekend's church activities, as I will be leading the service at a local nursing home around 2:30pm (still walking through the miracles of Jesus) and then with the church plant at 6:00 (looking at the book of Philippians). Our town's fireworks have been moved to Sunday night, so that will be a nice way to end the day.

    Had a great workout planned for Masters today, with some main sets from SJBlack:

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 25 drill

    6 x 75 on 1:40 with fast middle 25)
    - I did 2x (50 fly/25 bk, 50 bk/25 br, 50 br/25 fr)

    400 pull (breathe 3/5/5/3 by 25) <- I did 500
    100 kick <- I did 150

    6 x 50 on 1:05
    - I did 2x (fly/bk, bk/br, br/fr)

    100 kick <- I did 150
    200 pull (only breathe to the western wall) <-- I did 300

    6 x 25 on :40 (I did all fast, IMO but no freestyle)

    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2800 yds/90 min)
    ------------------------------------

    We had a good mix of swimmers today and a great time. I have been trying to add in more stroke work with the 400 lcm IM coming up in two week. Tomorrow morning I will be swimming at Lake Paran and invited anyone interested to come and join me.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 07/01/14: evening

    by , July 1st, 2014 at 09:43 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Took it easy last week and ended up going for a run after church on Sunday evening, making it a tad over one mile without stopping. For not having run since Thanksgiving, I was pleased.

    It was a very hot and humid day here in Vermont, so I took it easy during my day off. After grilling supper, I headed to Masters practice with our new expanded Tuesday time slot for the summer - 90 min! Found this Off the Beaten Path ...

    I got in 200 before we started.
    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
    4 x 25 Build

    3 x
    - 200 Pull on :30sr (2:30 with snorkel, 2:21 with AP, 2:25)
    - 4 x 50 swim on :20sr (did IMO)
    - 4 x 25 swim on :10 (did IMO)
    - Masters Minute rest

    6 x 50 on 1:15 (fast under the flags; I did IM transitions)
    (I did 4 x 75 k/s/p on 1:15)
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/3000 yds/80 min)
    ------------------------------------
    A good workout, and we were joined by a new swimmer, Jennifer. It's nice to have the extra 30 minutes and I am trying to spread the word so that our numbers will support the extra time.

    I ended up signing up for the Baystate Games in a few weeks at Springfield College MA). My first ever LCM meet! I will only be going for one day and plan to swim 400 Fr, 400 IM, 100 back, 50 free. GregJS is also swimming, so we'll be able to root each other on.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Planning