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Masters Swim Meets / Events

Meet / OW event plans and results from U.S. Masters Swmming events in this category.

  1. 07/08/18: Baystate Games lcm

    by , July 8th, 2018 at 10:48 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I was able to commit to driving down to Boston for day 2 of the Baystate Games, this year at Harvard University. It is a fun meet where the kids swim their finals championship heat before us old folks, with great swag too (t-shirt and cap for all, medals and one pullover jacket if you place). I was able to convince Greg to join me for a rare LCM swim in New England. Even though I am in VT, as a member of New England Masters I am eligible to compete.

    A plus about this meet is that since the adults swim during the finals section of the meet, warmups started at 3pm and the first splash was at 4. For day 2 there were only 1-2 heats for Masters for most events, except for 3 heats of the 100 free. There is a limit of 4 events over the course of the meet, so I entered the first 4 today :duh: The age groups for the meet ar 19-34. 35-49, 50+.

    200 Fly: 2:54.51
    37.31, 44.16 (1:21.47), 47.81 (2:09.28), 45.23 (2:54.51)
    - I felt good during the race although my 3rd 50 was a little too slow. I switched to DPS fly after the first 50 and stayed relaxed throughout.

    200 IM: 2:54.44
    36.90, 45.03 (1:21.93), 56.14 (2:18.07), 36.37 (2:54.44)
    - I again felt good during this race. I have been trying to reinvent my breaststroke and despite still being slow I was able to get into a good rhythem.

    200 Back: 2:42.26
    39.23, 41.81 (1:21.04), 42.40 (2:03.44), 38.82 (2:42.26)
    - I was looking forward to a solid swim and was able to throw one down. I am really happy with the splits. During warmups I did my best to count strokes so it helped me during this swim.

    100 free: 1:04.84
    32.66, 32.18 (1:04.84)
    - At this point I was pretty tired and didn't have a lot of speed off the blocks, but I was able to build into the walls and then did my best to hammer the rest of the swim.

    All in all a great meet. After the Masters heats they had a small awards ceremony for all age groups, so there was a little break between swims. The diving well was open for swimming during the duration of the meet so I warmed down there. I was done with all of my events in less than two hours.

    This ended my third LCM meet. I have been swimming at Harvard for many years but all scy, so it was a real treat to finally swim here LCM. Here in VT there is only one LCM pool but it is two hours north in Middlebury, and sometimes I can sneak in to the pool at a college less than an hour away. It would be cool if I had more opportunities to swim lCM, but it is what it is in New England.

  2. 03/16-18/2018: New England scy Champs

    by , March 18th, 2018 at 09:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Back from a fun weekend of racing in Boston at the annual Harvard meet. With my schedule allowing, I was able to swim all three days of the main meet this year (as opposed to driving down for the day as I have been doing in the recent past). That third big snowstorm didn't materialize here in our area, but in trying to more more wood pellets from the basement to the living room (so my daughter didn't have to while the rest of us went on the trip) I tweaked my back on Wednesday, to the point that it was painful to bend over to tie my shoes. I was able to make it to Masters on Tuesday for a warmup and some burst and cruise swims, but wasn't able to make it back to the pool before the meet. We made the 3 hour drive to Boston on Friday morning in time for event check-in...
    http://meetresults.com/2018/nelmscscy/results.shtml

    Friday:

    100 Free: 53.94 - 3rd (26.33, 27.71)
    -- This was the first event and my back was still tight, even after warmups. I popped a 24.6 at the New Year's meet in January, so these splits seem right on. I need to work the 2nd wall more for a faster 3rd lap when I swim this next. I didn't attack the walls due to the back tightness.

    50 Fly: 27.10 - 5th
    - My start was good and my stroke felt long and powerful. The turn was good, but I need to get some more sdk's in. I was short to the wall and decided to glide...probably should have taken an extra quick stroke.

    100 Back: 1:00.93 - 2nd (29.89, 31.04)
    - I opted not to use the backstroke ledges since I have no experience with them (other than a YouTube video that I watched online). The splits were good, but each wall was horrible and I did not reach my sdk counts. It probably didn't help that I was being conservative as to not agrivate my back. I think I can get back under a minute, especially if I take it out a little faster.

    [My warmup in the regular pool was 1200 yds, and I did a total of 26 laps in the 29yd diving well lanes between events and for warmdown] After my day in the pool was complete we drove into Harvard Square to fart around and grab a late lunch before heading to the hotel to relax.

    Saturday:
    50 Breast: 25.23 - 4th
    - On of these days I will make good on my threat to actually learn to swim this stroke more efficiently (and hopefully faster), but I swam this mostly to get a time for the Flow Swimmers online event that I signed up for. I really worked the walls and tried to get through the event without having my knee protest, and I accomplished both goals.

    200 Back: 2:14.88 - 2nd (31.58, 34.45, 34.54, 34.31)
    - I wanted to get under 2:15 and I did with a beautifully split race (1:06.03, 1:08:85)! So I did a sprint during warmups to try the ledge, and was in lane one. I remember telling my wife that lane was horrible because the flags only reached halfway across the lane. Of course that set me up to swim in lane 1! Anyways, I took it out without much legs and built into it as I planned. The turns were better (as my back was not as sore) and I am I really happy with the swim. I missed swimming with my buddy Trent from RI, but did run into Doug who came down from Maine for the day.

    [Warmups of 1600 yds, plus an additional 18 laps in the big lane between events and for warmdown]. We drove over near BU and picked up a guitar that my son was looking at online before heading back to the hotel to drop off the car. I made reservations online for Hard Rock and we took the T into the city, battleing the drunken St. Patty's Day crowds and pub-crawls. I am happy I made reservations because we bypassed the huge line and were seated and served a lot faster that I expected. After a little shopping we went back to the hotel and vegged out, except for a little walk my son and I took in search for some cookies before bed.

    Sunday:
    50 Back: 27.10 - 2nd
    - I used the ledges again and tried to not stay under as long as I usually do on the second lap. While I wanted to get under 27, I am really happy with this time as I find it so difficult to sprint anything.

    100 IM: 1:02.17 - 3rd (27.22, 34.95)
    - Back in lane 1 and I did my usual out fast then lose it all on breast. I wanted to get under 1:03 and did, beating my time from January. Oh well, this is a top 3 fastest time in the event in my lifetime so I am happy.

    [Warmups of 1300 yards and 22 laps in the big lane between events and for warmdown] After the swims we watched Donna, an 84-year young lady from Maine, crush the 200 fly before driving home.

    Total swimming:
    Warmups: 4100 yds
    Racing: 650 yds
    Warmdown: 1914 yds (66 laps in the well)

    Thoughts...
    - I aged up to the 40-44 group and swam my 100th race as a Masters swimmer with this meet. I have written before that I swam here as an age-grouper and feel blessed with the chance to swim here now. I am amazed to see the certificates from David Berkoff hanging on the walls behind the stands and to take in the brand new score board this year. It is just awesome for me to swim here. It is a very well run meet, this year having more than 650 swimmers, and great folks behing the blocks timing, reffing, and working to make sure everything runs smoothly.
    - My wife and son made the trip. It is funny that in the locker room so many guys talked about their families not being on board to coming to watch. It is a boring meet, even for us swimmers, so I know how our families must feel. Even so, it means a lot to me to see my wife in the stands and know that she is cheering me on.
    - Based on above, I tried to plan my swims so that I wasn't swimming in the first "distance" events of the day, pick back to back events, and avoid sitting at the pool all day. I accomplished that goal! Trying to then plan on when to warm up, try to get in some sprints from the blocks once the main competition pool is open, and then follow the estimated timeline takes some thought. I was able to get on deck before check-ins closed (no online option with this meet) and had some down time between events to not only hang out with my family but check in with my swimming buddies. I even met Guy from a facebook swimgroup and we checked in throughout the meet, even racing side by side in the 100 IM - he touched me out! Dan from Pittsfield aged up to 70 and was breaking lmsc records all weekend long...he might even be gunning from more at our meet in a few weeks.
    - Swimming-wise, I am satisfied with my efforts and performances. After feeling like crap after the WPI scm meet in December, I have committed to swim more Tuesday night practices and the every other Saturday swims that my work schedule allows for. Like Ande has said, I need to stop lugging around this extra 10-15 points which will help make me faster in and of itself. I think that as the weather gets warmer I will be able to get back on the bike and schedule some 5k's to help with overall fitness and weight management. I also need to be more proactive with shoulder and knee exercises as both issues have not been too bothersome, although the long meet has reminded me of them. I also need to figure out breastroke.

    Well, that's a wrap from Harvard. I'm really pleased with the meet and the opportunity to get some racing in after all the hours of training.

    Updated March 19th, 2018 at 09:17 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: harvard
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning
  3. 02/27/18: One Hour Swim

    by , February 27th, 2018 at 09:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Hopped into the pool for the One Hour Swim again this year, which will help to add yardage to parent team New England Masters and knock off three events for the Flow Swimmers league.

    Tonight I was able to make it to 4000 yards, working a steady pace and adding progressively more kick and stroke work as the hour went on. It is a nice event to do every year. I will time for the team this coming Saturday.

    Previous years...
    2017: 4025
    2016: 4393
    2015: 4257
    2014: 4560
    2013: 4565
    2012: 4275
    2011: 3800

    Updated March 5th, 2018 at 09:12 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: ohs
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  4. Meet 01/20/18: Happy New Year Master Meet

    by , January 20th, 2018 at 08:38 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    First meet of the year and my first time checking out this somewhat local meet, held a little over an hour west of home at the Mohonasen High School (Schenectady, NY). It is the 9th year of the event and this year they had a record number of swimmers (58). With my work schedule open for me to attend and my buddy Greg also willing to compete, we headed over with my son.

    This is also my first meet in the 40-44 year age group, as my twin sister and I had our birthday this past Thursday.

    Warmup: 1400 yds

    50 free - 24.67
    I felt good during this swim and really picked up the second lap. I think with some additional sprint training I can get faster. Still a goal of mine to get under 24.
    -- 200 loosen

    100 IM - 1:03.99 (28.64, 35.35)
    Felt great on the fly leg, not too coordinated on back, good on breast and tired on the free! I had not worked breast too much since having some knee issues, but have been learning how to swim it more efficiently.
    -- 50 loosen

    50 fly - 28.60
    I was in heat 3, so I had about 3 minutes between the IM and this fly event. I knew it would be close, and my heart rate was sky high. My breakout was good and I worked to finish with good form.
    --- 200 loosen

    200 free - 2:02.61 (29.53, 31.82, 32.08, 29.18)
    I felt really good on this swim. I swam it a little differently than normal so my 3rd was a bit slow. I ended up getting touched out at this finish but made it an interesting race!
    --- 300 loosen

    All in all a well run meet in a nice facility. The increase in numbers lead to a longer than expected meet, but events progressed smoothly with no issues. We left before the 1000 and 1650. Greg had some great swims (particularly a great race in the 100 breast), and we both enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting new folks on deck and learning more about how other Masters incorporate swimming into everyday life and some different training ideas. I also made contact with Kathy and Steve, who help to drive some of the ADMS swimming opportunities. I hope to be able to make it back next year!

    Updated January 21st, 2018 at 09:26 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: adms
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  5. Meet: 04/22/17: CYEDC MastersMania (Philly)

    by , April 23rd, 2017 at 10:40 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Despite lackluster training (I have been out of the water for the past 10 days) I was able to coordinate a trip to visit my daugther in Philly to include an appearance in the 2nd MastersMania meet at Ridley High, south of Philadelphia and home to fellow blogger tjrpatt. I have meet with Tom a couple of times to train in the past (at this pool as well as lcm outside in Wayne, PA) in the past few years.

    My wife and I started our trip down on Thursday and spent most of Friday tracing my mom's roots north of Allentown, PA, which was very meaningful for me. She passed away in '95 so there is a lot that I feel like I don't really know about her. My aunt was very helpful in pointing me to the home where my grandmother grew up as well as a cemetery and some memorials that listed my great-grandfather and his son (my great uncle) for their service in WW1 and WW2, respectively.


    After following some of the "back roads" into town and a spontaneous tour of Fairmount Park, we were able to meet up with our daughter downtown after she got off work and treated her and some friends to dinner before we headed to the hotel. She then joined us at the hotel and drove to the pool Saturday morning with time for me to check in and warm up. The pool is nice with cool water and a good timing system. Lane 1 was open the whole meet for continuous warm-ups and stated on time at 9am, with Tom swimming the 400im solo - a tough event to do alone.

    100 free - I wasn't really sure how I was feeling so I same very conservatively, just getting under 1 minute. :eyeroll: The winner was under :49!

    50 back - right where I was expecting with a :30.xx. The swim felt good on little rest and I prepared for the 500.

    500 fly - just under 7:00. So I have been dealing with some soreness in my shoulder and back for a while, and since I didn't feel horrible after the first two events I figured I bring some Butternut fun to the city of brotherly love! As I have in the past, I swam DPS fly for the first 19 lengths then swam regular fly on the final lap. One starts to feel uncomfortable around the 300 mark, so the easy rhythm of the DPS fly enabled me to keep going. It was really fun.

    It was great to see Tom again and also help to support a super fun meet! The meet was a little larger than last year and well run. I spoke briefly with meet director Erik about my experience with our local meet. I was dressed by 10:15am after warming down (1000 warmup, 200 bwtween events, 400 loosen = 2250 yds total) and hope that my work schedule allows for me to drop in again next year.


    After the meet the girls and I headed up to King of Prussia to check out the mall (second largest in the US) and then spent a couple of hours checking out Valley Forge National Historic Park. Breathtaking and very informative. We ended the night chilling out at the hotel and after breakfast we watched our girl head back to her life in the city and we took a detour through Atlantic City on our way back to Vermont.

    Updated April 23rd, 2017 at 11:20 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  6. 03/25/17: 6th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet

    by , March 25th, 2017 at 05:58 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    We had another successful mini meet at my hometown pool today as just over 30 swimmers descended on southwestern Vermont for a fun morning of swimmer. As usual we had a good showing from our local team and two teams from the south in Massachusetts (Pittsfield Polar Bears and the Simon Rock PaceMakers). We also welcomed new faces from Adirondack Masters as well as from travelers (a mom and daughter duo from NJ and a gentleman from Niagara Falls! Amanda, Carol, Eric, Gabby, Kevin, Matt, Rebecca, and Tim from our local workout group swam, while Libby and Mary (along with her newborn baby) stopped by to cheer for a bit.

    In addition to my role as meet director I served as a referee, although I did swim in the relays with my older brother and sister. The meet ran smoothly without any complications from the timing system (which had a hiccup or two last year in it's first real use), and our fun 25 "sprints" served as good breaks in the action that allowed for folks to take a breather. I again gave away various prizes (maple syrup from a local sugar shack and stroopwafels from my local bakery), along with some USMS stickers and caps.

    While the planning and pulling off the meet is a bit stressful, I am consistently amazed by the diverse of swimmers that come out to compete, many for the first time. The environment of a Masters meet is so different from that of an age group or high school meet. It gives me a lot satisfaction to be able to host this meet every year, and I am thankful for the support that we get from the local age group team to run the event.
  7. 02/18/17: One Hour Swim

    by , February 18th, 2017 at 05:43 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My training has really been lackluster this season, but I wanted to help team New England Masters go for another year of OHS National Champs. My daughter came home on a surprise visit and was game to time my swim.

    Finished at 4025 yds, so about a 1:29ish pace. My 500 splits were:
    6:54.22, 13:44.09, 21:11.54, 28:33.10, 37:14.04, 44:39.14, 52:47.96

    Happy to contribute. 6 other swimmers from our workout group also participated. It's a fun challenge to bring to the team every year.
  8. 04/19/16: 5th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet

    by , April 9th, 2016 at 08:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Today started a little after 8 at the Rec helping to get the pool set up for our meet and my son headed to the airport to pick up our airborne swimmers Maurice and his teammate Liz. As folks started to arrive we welcomed them in as the the volunteers obtained their roles and the pool area filled with excitement. I hopped in to warm up after meeting with the officials and making sure that everything was all set. My sister and brother decided to show up just ten minutes before the meet started just to give me another reason to worry

    We started off with the 200 Medley Relay. Since the Leake contingent was only three deep this year, we were able to have Gabby, who swam in high school with us) swim with us: Jill, Me, Gabby, Jeff - 2:17.38.

    Next up was the 200 IM: stayed long and strong and went 2:21.53 - almost beat the team I then changed into my Yingfa and took splits as the meet went on. I ended up swimming the 500 since only one guy signed up, so I used it as a warmup for the 100 IM. Swam right next to my brother and went 13.11, 14.33 (27.33), 19.34 (46.67), 14.39 (1:01.17). A solid swim but I went out a little slower than I did at Harvard. I then did a 100 fly warmdown before the final event of the day: 200 free relay. Jill, Mike, Gabby, Jeff = 1:59.07.

    After the meet I took Maurice and Liz back to the airport and watched as they headed for home. We ended up with 36 entries as Pittsfield and Great Barrington came in force. From our team: Amanda, Carol, MG, Gabby, Matt, Greg (solid 50 free and breast!), Kevin and the three Leake's. I gave prizes that included homemade ribbons that my wife sewed, goodies from https://www.facebook.com/Bakkerij-Kr...6334239062396/ and some maple syrup that the Marauders' coach made. There were two delays with the timing system but I was able to fill in the time with some talk. As a meet director I worry about getting folks to the pool but also having the meet run smoothly. Sometimes these hickups can not be avoided and I trust that they will be used as a learning experience for future events.

    All in all another great time with swimming friends old and new and a good donation to the Marauders to help continue youth swimming in our community.


    Warmups - that's me in at the wall


    Heat two of the 50 free. Greg JS, my brother Jeff, Christian Avard, and Kevin from our team. Our meet is the first to make use of the new scoreboard!


    Some people swim fly in a swim meet. Others fly to a swim meet! Maurice and his teammate Liz flew in from Concord, NH, in this beautiful Cessna 172

    Updated April 10th, 2016 at 06:25 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: monumental
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  9. 03/18-19/16: 2016 New England SCY Champs at Harvard‏

    by , March 19th, 2016 at 09:57 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Just back from a fun trip to Boston for the annual SCY champs at Harvard with 820 of my closest friends. I only swam the second and third days of the meet (distance day was last Saturday, and this weekend is the three day "main" meet) and had blast swimming in one of my favorite pools.



    Friday: My wife and son joined me and we headed out from home a little before 7am for the three hour drive to Beantown, no issues, parking at the pool. I checked in for my events and then warmed up.

    #8 50 Free: 24.19 r:+0.77 [3rd place]
    - Masters PB time, but still not quite under 24. Had a good start and only breathed once before the wall, then twice on the way back. Solid swim as I still try to emulate a sprinter.

    #10 100 Back: 58.68 [2nd place]
    Splits: 29.04, 29.64
    - Less then a second off my masters best. My underwaters were not great but I split it well and the turns were good. Satisfied.

    [I skipped the 50 fly because it was after the 200 breast and a rather long break]

    After warming down we walked over to Harvard Square to get some food. My wife has been so patient in supporting my swims and hanging out in the hot and humid pool area over the years (it's good to thank your own family for this, it's such a blessing for me) and found a great place for lunch as we checked out parts of the city that I have not seen before. We then walked back to get the car and drove to the hotel and relaxed a bit. Later on, my son and I took the T to the Science Museum to check out a show at the planetarium, Laser Floyd. The full set list from the 1979 record, slightly abridged to fit the hour time slot, played as lasers moved about with the full arsenal of the planetarium's star showed above. It was really cool and a fun thing to take in with my son, and we got back to the room a little after 11, so I was able to get a solid night's sleep since I didn't swim the 500. Oh, and I found out that Michigan State lost so my March Madness bracket it busted as I had them going all the way.

    Saturday: I ate a light breakfast at the hotel and then we caught a shuttle to Harvard Square, where the family went off exploring and I headed to the pool to warm up. I skipped swimming during the 15 minute sprint period after the first distance event of the day and opted to stretch and relax in the stand.

    #20 50 Back: 27.39 [3rd place]
    - Another Masters best. I really worked my underwaters but my wife said I should have come up sooner on the second lap as I lost some ground.

    #22 100 IM: 1:00.53 r:+0.74 [3rd place]
    Splits: 26.90, 33.63
    - Right there is a lifetime best! I talked to my buddy Trent as we ended up next to each other and I told him that I would be taking this out fast due to my poor breaststroke. I had another good start and worked the underwaters on the first 50, coming in really fast. My back to breast turn was a little cramped, but I worked the streamline and then tried my best to increase my turnover on the breast as I moved the kick up in the cycle. It apparently worked as the family said that I held my ground instead of the usual field catching up. I then motored to the wall - a full two second time drop and ever so close to my lofty goal of getting this event under a minute!

    #24 200 Fly: 2:17.94 r:+0.77 [1st place]
    Splits: 30.49, 34.76, 38.24, 34.45
    I'll give the swim of the meet, as I achieved another lifetime best with a five second drop! Last swim of the meet for me and I felt good so instead of DPS fly for 175 yds before a 25 sprint, I changed it up a little. I swam regular fly the first length, then 125 of DPS fly before switching back to full fly on the last 50. Looking at the splits I was a little too fast on the second and too timid on the third 50s, but judging by the 30+ minutes it took for my hearrate to come back down after the swim I am ok with that! I was looking to come in around the 2:20, and was able to take gold for my age group.

    All in all another great meet at a pool that I enjoy competing in and a fun couple of days in the city with the family. The first day I was not sure if I hit my taper but today demonstrated to me that it was on target. I was also able to catch up with friends from past meets (my buddies with Granite State, Jonathan,Trent, Christian, Kevin, and Lauren) and also meet new folks from the forums and in the pool, one of the things that really makes this sport so rewarding for me. I logged 500yds racing + 4950yds with warmups/downs and we made it home safely...well worth the extra days I worked in order to switch weekends and make it down to Harvard.

    Updated March 19th, 2016 at 10:13 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: harvard, nem
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  10. 01/26/2016: One Hour Swim

    by , January 26th, 2016 at 10:19 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I attended the Prescription Drug Task Force meeting this morning, then (finally) had the studded snow tires put on to my wife's car. So far we have only had 5.5 inches of snow for the season, but don't fret...in 2007 we had 3 inches at this point, then two big storms (Valentine's Day and one in March) and ended up with 46 inches for the year. My outdoor drylands still have a fighting chance! I was able to sneak in to the pool ten minutes early, then my son took splits for the annual January postal ...

    Tonight I churned out 4393 yards, which was actually a bit more than I expected. My 500 splits were: 6:06, 6:34, 7:05, 7:00, 7:12, 6:57, 6:45, 6:42. I took on water around 17 minutes, 35 min, and some gatorade at 45. Probably took it out a tad to fast. Here is a quick yearly recap ...

    2016: 4393
    2015: 4257
    2014: 4560
    2013: 4565
    2012: 4275
    2011: 3800

    This weekend I will be helping to time our team effort.
  11. Meet 08/07/15: USMS Nationals day 2b

    by , August 7th, 2015 at 08:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My first Nats in the book. Fun and fast swimming, great to meet many from these forums. Full recap to come...for now, I am rocking my Red Sox hat here with my son whilst pounding $1 hotdogs

    Updated August 8th, 2015 at 08:10 AM by rxleakem

    Tags: nationals
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  12. Meet 08/07/15: USMS Nationals day 2

    by , August 7th, 2015 at 06:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Today I decided to sleep in a bit so we checked out of the hotel after I hit the continental breakfast bar up. Lots more cars on this first full day of swimming but I was able to get in and do 800 meters in the big pool. I kept on my square-legged NEM endurance suit for the 400 IM, as all along I have planned to use this event as a continuation of warmups.

    400m IM: 6:00.95
    Said hi to Chad and also met mmlr38 before the swim. I started outside in lane 9 easy and employed DPS fly , then used the back leg to catch my breath a bit. Breaststroke is my least favorite event (because I struggle with it) so everyone passed me by. At the free turn I peaked over and saw someone on the other side of the pool had already pushed off so I put my head down and charged, ending up with 9th place! A little more racing than I planned on doing (and three seconds slower than last yeas), but I was happy to score and extra point for the team.
    37.83 1:21.08 (43.25)
    2:05.49 (44.41) 2:50.08 (44.59)
    3:49.17 (59.09) 4:47.91 (58.74)
    5:25.22 (37.31) 6:00.95 (35.73)

    Afterwards I did an easy 300yds in the totally packed short pool. Since the women still had to swim and then there was a 30min open warmup in the big pool I met up with my son and we checked out Spire Fuel, the cafe on campus. The prices were quite reasonable with most things made to order. I had a half a piece of pizza before we went to check out the vendor area - great prices and deals to be found. I also took advantage of a physical trainer in that area, Andrew, who was there to check out complaints and had foam rollers and other things to try out. My right knee has been clicking more and he took a look, offering some suggestions to help me out. A great service - thanks USMS!

    After watching Sickfish rock the 100 fly (great job, dude), I got in another easy 200yds and then put on my Yingfa for the 50 free. Originally I planned to just swim it, but decided to go after it.

    50 FREE: 27.45
    I was in first of two heats for my age group and the temp started to rise on the deck as the everyone filtered to the shallow end of the pool for the start. Instead of just going all out from the dive I decided to take 5 strong SDK's and then 5 controlled strokes to start off the swim. I was surprised to be in the lead at this point, so then I dropped the hammer. I was able to win my heat with a time that was 0.86 seconds faster than last year! By this point of the meet my aunt from Boston was tuning in online and was tickled pink because I won the heat. I ended up with 8th place as well, so I felt like this was my swim of the meet.

    An wasy 300yds to loosen up, then as the first heats of the men's 2back went off I got in another easy 100yds. I watched Stewart and Kurt battle out a great race, then swam my own...

    200m BACK: 2:35.43
    I was seeded third and entered a time was was roughly two times my 100back from last year plus 10 seconds. I still believe that this is the most difficult event to swim due to the constant demand on the legs to keep the body in position. I planned to take 4 skds off this start then 5 the rest of the way. That sounded fine until I made the last turn, as after two I surfaced to get oxygen! I felt smooth during the entire race and came in third. My legs were trashed as I struggled to get out of the water! To the warmdown pool for an easy 300yds.
    36.49 1:16.68 (40.19)
    1:57.16 (40.48) 2:35.43 (38.27)

    Last up for the day was the men's 4x50 Free Relay, and I did another easy 100yds.. Our time seeded us 6th, and despite being tired from a full day of racing I was ready to toss whatever was left for our team. I went 2nd and popped off a relay-assisted start time of 26.87, half a second faster than my individual event this afternoon Everyone on team New England dropped time and it was a great way to end the meet for me (after 300yds warmdown). The team is taking a picture on Saturday so I'll miss that, but I had a great time at my first Nationals. I will blog tomorrow about some of the peeps I was able to meet for the first time while here. Off to Cleveland with my son!

    Updated August 10th, 2015 at 06:31 AM by rxleakem

    Tags: lcm, nationals
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  13. Meet 08/06/15: USMS Nationals day 1

    by , August 6th, 2015 at 07:29 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a good night sleep and woke up before my alarm, mostly because the other swimmers in the hotel lent a hand! haha Grabbed some oatmeal and a coffee from before we hit the road to the pool, getting there a little after 7am. Once on deck, I met fellow New England swimmer Dick and his wife. We had made arrangements last night to count each other's 800, so it was nice to have that taken care of.

    I jumped in for warmups and swam 1000 metter, including one burst and cruise from the blocks while trying out the wedge blocks. After counting for Dick, who had a great swim, I went to the warmup pool (which seemed to have cooled down nicely) for a quick 200yds.

    My goal for the 800 was to take it out easy and controlled then build each 100. This was my first time swimming this event and felt good through the 350 mark before tightening up a bit. I focused on lengthening my stroke out and felt better at the 550 mark and pushed it to the finish. Felt my stomach do some flips for the last 150, so I feel like I left it all out there. Finished with a 10:56.62. I'll be interested to see the splits to see how well I stuck to my plan en route to a personal best

    Updated Splits:
    800m FREE: 10:56.62
    34.83 1:13.41 (38.58)
    1:52.70 (39.29) 2:33.54 (40.84)
    3:15.14 (41.60) 3:57.42 (42.28)
    4:40.43 (43.01) 5:22.64 (42.21)
    6:05.02 (42.38) 6:48.90 (43.88)
    7:31.55 (42.65) 8:14.51 (42.96)
    8:56.93 (42.42) 9:37.63 (40.70)
    10:18.59 (40.96) 10:56.62 (38.03)

    My plan to descend 100's didn't hold up very well, and the middle of my race was a bit slow due to my tightening up, but I am still happy with the swim. Chad from Cali came in first and had an excellent swim, his first Nationals win.

    Afterwards I met some other NEMer's before a 400yd warmdown. Preston and I spent the rest of the day exploring the area - the shortest covered bridge in America is right here in town, took a short walk at Geneva State Park, drove along the lake to Ashtabulah for lunch at Briquettes, then found the longest covered bridge in America (4th in the world), which is pictured below,as we made our way back to the hotel. After a quick pit stop, we drove around a bit, getting a pop at Ree's Soda Fountain in Gevena. I think they say pop up this way. Now I am ready for a busy day tomorrow.

    Updated August 9th, 2015 at 09:19 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: lcm, nationals
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  14. Workout 08/05/15: afternoon

    by , August 5th, 2015 at 08:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Left Vermont this morning and made it to Geneva around 4pm with my son. Traffic was smooth and I took a break every 100 miles or so to stretch out. The facility is pretty awesome, with a deep and cool 10 lane LCM main pool and a 25 yard pool available for warmups. All checked in for my races over the next two days.

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    3 x 100 [as 50 kick, 50 drill]
    2 x 50 b/c [first one off the blocks - thanks team Costa Rica for the whistle!)
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Spire/1200m/35 min)
    -------------------------

    I made it to the pre-event meeting and now back at the hotel after eating dinner. Time to shave - haven't done this since high school! haha

    https://instagram.com/p/6BVg3dFm1d/

    Updated August 5th, 2015 at 09:18 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: nationals
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  15. Meet: 04/25/15: Monumental Masters Mini Meet

    by , April 25th, 2015 at 02:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The culmination of many months of planning and anticipation was realized this morning with the start of our 4th annual mini meet here at my hometown pool. Overall attendance was down from previous years, but we ended up with more than 25 swimmers and a lot of fun! There are always great stories from any Masters meet, as evidenced at our meet as some folks came out to their first competition, others met with friends and family for an annual splash, and we even welcomed an English Channel swimmer with her new start-up team!

    As meet director (and brainchild of the meet), there are certain stresses that I have in addition to actually swimming. We had our main official (and the woman with the most knowledge of running the computer/timing system) back out a few weeks ago due to family vacation, so many others needed to step into new positions in order to make the meet come together. I confirmed that the facility would be opened early so that we could setup in time for 9am warmups, and our lifeguard was there when requested. Some mild headaches as the printer ink cartridges were dried up, and after not being able to use the facility's equipment my wife and son hurried home to get our wireless printer, which worked! So a minor delay in the start of the meet, but we were able to get the relays off and then I filled in some space with my list of "thank you"s and info on our community, so everyone was very understanding and patient.

    I try to keep the meet in line with our USMS hashtag #FunnestSport by offering some great prizes and fun events. I bought some USMS silicone caps with my discount earlier in the year, the age group coach donated some maple syrup that she made this spring, and I was able to secure (yet again) some Stroopwafels from our local Dutch bakery, Bakkerij Krijnen. These all went out to our first registrant, farthest traveled (our buddy Lisa from NJ), first time entrant, and the winners of our Sprint challenges.

    I again had the privilege in roping my one of my brothers, my sister and her partner, and my daughter into swimming so that we had an All-Leake medley and free relay, as well as a morning to catch up and get some exercise together in a pool that we spent most of our childhood in. It was great catching up and seeing how their swimming abilities have not diminished even thought this is the only time of the year that they get wet! Lena and the boys were our cheerleaders.

    Our local team was well represented with Greg, Kevin, Ashley, and Amanda (with Melissa and Rachel helping out as timers). Greg made his famous Magic Bars for the concession stand and had some great swims as well, even after helping me get things set up in the morning - nice job, Greg!

    Due to the delayed meet start I scratched the 200 IM to help move things along. I did the 500 fly (7:04, I think, slower than a couple of years ago), and was surprised that Bethany did fly as well! My only other event was the 100 fly (1:02) but was wiped out and could not get the SDK's going. We also had a blast doing the Medley and Free Relays together.

    All in all, another great event for Masters swimming! Looking forward to next years addition!

    Things to remember for next year:
    check printer cartridges, batteries before meet
    order more latex caps from national office
  16. Workout 01/26/15: One Hour Swim

    by , January 26th, 2015 at 09:48 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I had planned to do this swim tomorrow night at Masters practice, but with the Nor'Easter bearing down on New England the Rec has announced that the facility will be closed all day tomorrow (along with Preston's school). I won't be back in the water until Friday so tonight became the night for the OHS! Preston took splits on my way to a total of 4257 yards, which is just over 300 yards less than last year. Given where I am with my physical state, I am happy with the results. Plus it will add to team New England Masters in our bid to three-peat as National OHS Champions!

    We are all home tomorrow (my regular day off) so keeping up with snow removal should not be a problem. I haven't had to use the show blower yet this year, and today while gassing it up I discovered what appears to be a cracked gasket, so it will be all human power for Tuesday!
  17. Meet 12/13/14: 2014 New England SCM Championships

    by , December 13th, 2014 at 11:19 PM (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 12:31 AM by rxleakem

    Tags: boston, bu scm
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Open Water
  18. 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 break 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.

    Updated July 8th, 2015 at 09:22 AM by rxleakem

    Tags: baystate, lcm
    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  19. 03/15/14: NEM SCY Champs Distance Day

    by , March 16th, 2014 at 09:55 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The New England LMSC Short Course Yards Championship, affectionately known as "the Harvard Meet," attracts close to 900 people each March to the Boston area for some fast swimming in a great pool. This year there are a total of 854 swimmers from across New England and beyond. The meet is spread out over two weekends, with Distance Day in the middle of March on a Saturday offering either the 1000 or 1650 for both sexes, and then the regular meet the following Friday-Saturday-Sunday. I have never competed on the distance day and last year didn't swim at all, so with my weekend off this weekend I signed up for the 1650 this year.

    I was able to schedule a trip to Boston, my favorite city just three hours to the east of home, with my family and also squeeze in a swim at a pool I always look forward to swimming in. With our my daughter unable to attend and Jinho in Guatemala on a missions trip with the school, I rounded up my wife, Preston and Lina to join me. I also arranged to meet up with my aunt Pat, who lives a a few towns north of the city, to help show us around - she is apparently immune to the humid environment of the pool and tries to watch me swim when I am in town.

    We headed out Friday and checked into our hotel in Cambridge after an easy drive in. I had requested a parking pass, but they were out; fortunately I was able to get street parking within view of the room for the overnight period. We took the T into Government Center and explored Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, deciding to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe for pre-race nourishment. While chilly, the moon was shining as brightly over the lights throughout the area and we had a wonderful time.



    The next morning, I woke up before 8am in order to drive the car to the Harvard athletic area and park for free for the day. I walked from Blodgett Pool to Harvard Square to catch the T back to the hotel for breakfast. At this point I was able to get a parking pass (oh well, at least I would be covered for after the meet), and we headed out to meet my aunt at Park Street. We checked out the Old Granary Burial Grounds and Statehouse before making our way through the Commons, past the Ducklings and the Swan Pond, and down towards the finish of the Boston Marathon. We continued west on Newbury Street before getting back on the T to head up to Harvard. We farted around Harvard Square for a bit (there is the newstand with media from around the globe and checked out Newbury Comics before grabbing a quick bite at Subway (those new Flatizza things are tasty and not to heavy) before heading on to the pool. (I've been wearing a pedometer and so far had logged 11300 steps!)


    How long is it going to take to squeeze into this?

    Checked in, warmed up and waited. I was asking around for a counter, and met Matt from RI who was swimming in the heat before me in the shallow end so we counted for each other. Harvard has the main competition pool, 5 lanes in the diving well (29 yards), then 6 lanes in the shallow end. For distance day, you can opt to swim in the shallow end with an in-water start and save $2 on your entry fee; since this is my first 1650 (I did the 1500 scm at Riverton a couple of years ago) and my training has not been focused, I choose to swim there [Really, I'm just cheap ]. Matt had a great swim (his first mile, too - way to go, Matt!) and I quickly went from the turn end, grabbed my goggles and cap and hopped into the start end for my race.

    My plan going into the swim was to string together 3 x 500 then finishing out with a strong 150 to complete the 66 lengths required for the race. I maintained a comfortable pace and lead over Jon in the lane next to me for the first 500, working on two dolphin kicks off the wall and 13 stroked per lap. I increased to a strong kick for the first 4 strokes off the wall in the middle 500 and was able to stay ahead of Jon. I felt tired in the final 500, and around 47 Jon caught me as my upper back/shoulders tightened up, actually sneaking ahead in the mid 50's. I decided to pick up the tempo at 59 (a little earlier than I planned) with increased turnover and a stronger kick, battling back and forth with Jon. I gunned the last fifty and just touched out Jon, coming in at 19:38.89! What a race! I ended up taking first in my age group for the event.


    (rx in the green cap FTW!)

    Event 4 Men: 35-39 1650 Yard Freestyle
    ========================================
    1 rxleakem 36 Bennington-NE 19:57.75 19:38.89
    32.49 1:06.14 (33.65)
    1:39.93 (33.79) 2:14.82 (34.89)
    2:49.73 (34.91) 3:25.51 (35.78)
    4:01.03 (35.52) 4:37.08 (36.05)
    5:13.64 (36.56) 5:50.09 (36.45)
    6:26.14 (36.05) 7:02.19 (36.05)
    7:38.81 (36.62) 8:14.97 (36.16)
    8:51.13 (36.16) 9:27.72 (36.59)
    10:04.57 (36.85) 10:41.70 (37.13)
    11:18.35 (36.65) 11:54.62 (36.27)
    12:31.42 (36.80) 13:07.75 (36.33)
    13:44.25 (36.50) 14:20.92 (36.67)
    14:57.90 (36.98) 15:34.06 (36.16)
    16:10.23 (36.17) 16:46.25 (36.02)
    17:22.62 (36.37) 17:56.84 (34.22)
    18:32.58 (35.74) 19:08.21 (35.63) 19:38.89 (30.68)


    *Note that twice I had the same 50 split, something I have always found awesome in others swimmers.
    The second occurrence was back-to-back; a combo bonus!
    ** So I swam: 5:50.09, 6:04.53, 6:02.22 plus 1:42.05. Probably took the first 500 out ever so slightly too fast.

    After a quick warmdown (totaling 3774 yds for the day), we brought the car back to the hotel and took the T into town for dinner at Jacob Wirth/'s German Restaurant, in honor of our exchange student. I refueled with Wiener Schnitzel. We had a great time, capturing this photo before saying good night to my aunt after an excellent day:


    Preston (yes, he is 16 and that tall now), Auntie, Rx, and my beloved.

    This morning we ate breakfast at the hotel and then took the long way home on Route 2, driving through Lexington and Concord to check out the pivotal starting points of the Revolutionary War along the Minute Man National Historical Park. We took some pictures at The Wayside, Orchard House (where Louisa May Alcott penned Little Women), Emerson House, and finally Walden Pond, which is on my bucket lists for an OWS.

    Another most excellent swimming adventure!

    Updated March 16th, 2014 at 10:18 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  20. 03/01/14: Glens Falls Masters Meet

    by , March 1st, 2014 at 11:14 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Plans for easy swimming on Wednesday or Friday morning didn't happen. I did go snowbaording yesterday - had a lot of fun with temps in the teens and lots of sunshine. Lina from Germany made it down from the top of the moutain twice! It was her first year boarding and we celebrated with a stop to the Waffle Cabin

    I met with the Masters crew this morning, getting in this easy swim:
    - 200 Fr/200 IM drill/200 Bk
    - 4 x 50 kick
    - 8 x 25 drill
    - 5 x 50 on 1:15 (odds= EZ, evens = fast)
    - 200 w/d
    (Masters/Rec/1450 yards/40 min)
    ----------------------------------

    GregJS got out and we met at my house with my wife and headed to Glens Falls, NY, for their Masters meet today at the high school pool. This was actually my first pool meet in NY, as I tend to be working on the weekend of the meets over there, and we met with Steve and some of the Pittsfiled, MA, swimmers, as well as getting to know our ADMS peers during the meet.. The drive is about 75 minutes from home, so we got in some warmup there (I did 1100 yards, including some sprints from the blocks).



    The meet was run mixed and last just over two hours from the 2pm start. I picked my events with the plan to get a little rest and easy swimming in and it worked well, altough I knew that after my first event (2bk) coupled with boarding yeasterday my legs would be fried, so I picked two 50's and a 100 to cap the meet. I'll update with official results later, but I posted some really great swims that I am excited about:
    -200 Bk = 2:10.9
    - 50 fly = 26.9
    - 50 free = 24.6
    - 100 free = 52.9

    (Got in another 700 yards between warm up and cool down)

    I love these mini meets because you can watch as some folks are hitting the blocks in their first meet, and others are getting close to PB's as they cruise through the water. Steve, a former coach for the Maruarders in town, did the 500 for this first time in 40+ years, clocking a well executed time under 9 minutes. I was beat in the 50 fly by Patrick, and got to watch Greg swim his first 200 breast, even splitting it with a 2:44. While Dan from Pittsfield was out due to illness, Steve was there to help lead a group. I also talked with Denny, who finished right in front of me at Betsy Owens 2mile cable swim in August.

    The water was clear and cool for a meet that was very well run. I highly recommend this event if you are able to attend in the future, and hopefully my work schedule will allow me to make it again next year. Greg had great swims and my wife was able to put a dent (15 chapters) into a book she is reading (it would take me a month to read that much!). We stopped for a bite to eat on the way home, a super day!
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