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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 03/19/15: noon

    by , March 19th, 2015 at 03:35 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Lena and I enjoyed a massage yesterday then a relaxed evening with the kids. I did a recycling run and some other errands this morning before hitting the pool ...

    200 free/200 back/200 IM drill
    4 x 75 kick
    1 x Noah's Ark pull with snorkel
    4 x 75 (swim/fast IMO/AP)
    4 x 50 (25 easy, 25 FAST)
    100 easy and out
    (Solo/Rec/2000 yds/40 min)

    For anyone in the New England area: 2nd annual Edge Spring Fling Masters meet near Burlington, VT next Saturday (3/28). Info:
    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 03/18/15: morning

    by , March 18th, 2015 at 11:00 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Another quick workout this morning. The adult swim lanes were not as busy ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    2 x 50 kick/150 AP/100 pull continuous
    3 x (150 on 2:00, 100 on 2:00 with snorkel)
    200 warm down
    (Solo/Rec/2150 yds/40 min)
    Swim Workouts
  3. Workout 03/16/15: morning

    by , March 16th, 2015 at 10:08 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick swim today, mostly because adult swim was packed and I was not motivated to battle it out in the lane ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    400 shark swim
    (Solo/Rec/1000 yds/20 min)

    Sometimes when the lane is full I can find a spot between traffic to allow for some intervals, but not this morning.
    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 03/14/15: morning (Pi Day!)

    by , March 14th, 2015 at 05:22 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Picked up an extra day at work yesterday due to my bosses vacation (which is a common occurrence these days), so I missed a swim. I was excited to get to the pool this morning and celebrate Pi day with the team ...

    (courtesy of the Boston Globe twitter today)

    3 00 swim - choice
    1 00 kick
    4 x 50 burst and cruise
    1 x 50 dolphin kick on back
    5 x 50 on 1:00 descend [I did 8 on :45 with snorkel]
    9 x 25 (fast free down, non-free back) + 25 easy
    2 00 pull
    6 x 100 on 2:00 descend 1->3, 4->6 [I did 'em on 1:45, back then IM]
    5 00 seconds of fly stroke review
    I then filmed everyone with the GoPro, trying a different underwater mount.
    (Masters/Rec/2150 yds/90 min)
    We had a full pool again with Tim and Kevin B doing their own workout, and Kevin M., Rachel, Melissa, Meg, Greg and I getting our nerd on. I used the digits as the basis and put the different pieces together for a good workout. We almost didn't have a lifeguard, as the age group team is away at Golds this weekend and the pool was empty until we hopped in at 10:30; at 10 they called me at home to see if there was anyone coming. Headache averted!

    Oh yeah, Greg made some homemade chocolate doughnuts for us to try - delicious!

    Updated March 14th, 2015 at 05:31 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , Reference: workouts
  5. Workout 03/10/15: evening

    by , March 10th, 2015 at 11:12 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a delightful day off which started with Chapel and the opportunity to play the kit. It is school spirit week in advance of spring break next week, so I took part in Tacky Tourist Tuesday (that's me with the glasses) ...

    (The funny thing is that I generally wear a fanny pack on trips, so I look almost like (my) normal self)

    Took a nap this afternoon and watched some old westerns on tv (Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Rifle Man) before making supper for the family then heading to the the pool ...

    3 x 100 fr :20sr (used snorkel)
    2x (50 kick into 100 pull)
    (did an extra 100 here)
    4 x 25 b/c

    - 2 x 50 back on :20 sr
    - 1 x 50 kick on :20 sr
    - 5 x 50 even pace on 1:00
    - 200 pull (used snorkel)
    - 30 second bursts of Vertical Kick until everyone finished.

    2 x 25 on :40 FAST (planned for more, but ran short on time)
    150 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2200 yds/60 min)
    Full house for our team with Tim, Rachel, Melissa, Carol, Greg, and Luiza. We've been working on strokes so I helped with pointers on back. Nothing too hard in the practice, but a nice mix with the challenge of even pace 50's with a fair amount of rest.

    Updated March 11th, 2015 at 09:27 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 03/08/15: afternoon

    by , March 8th, 2015 at 10:14 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 Free/200 Back/200 IM drill
    600 as (2 x through: 50 kick, 100 pull, 150 with AP)
    5 x 100 free on 1:20 with snorkel
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1800 yds/30 min)

    So, in addition to a headache on Thursday I was pretty wiped out on Friday after the double cell blood donation ... for the near future I plan to stick with the regular whole cell donations. A busy weekend at work and loss of the hour of sleep has me still feeling crummy. Planning to join Johnson and school's bowling club tomorrow afternoon.
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 03/04/15: morning

    by , March 4th, 2015 at 07:06 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Busy day off today, which I was happy to start off with a swim ...

    200 Free/200 Back/200 IM drill
    2 x (50 kick, 100 pull, 150 with AP)
    1 x Noah's Ark with snorkel
    100 easy
    4 x 50 (25 easy, 25 fast IMO)
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2200 yds/40 min)

    After running some errands I went to give blood after lunch, and opted to do the double red cell donation for the first time. A neat procedure where I will donate every 112 days and that had me hooked up to this machine for a while ...
    Swim Workouts
  8. Workout 03/02/15: morning

    by , March 2nd, 2015 at 10:33 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After church yesterday I went to the nursing home for the service there, then stayed home for the night. There was a concert a couple of towns east from me, but the snow made a return and I decided to stay put. I was able to catch up on some reading for class, and get in two shoveling before hitting the pool this morning for an easy swim.

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    600 Shark Swim
    100 easy and out
    (Solo/Rec/1300 yds/25 min)

    I will miss town meeting day today sure to work, but will hit the voting polls tomorrow morning before work.
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 02/28/15: morning

    by , February 28th, 2015 at 09:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The basketball game on Tuesday was fun, and I was only mildly sore the next couple of days despite not having played in about a year. We were up at halftime, but the whippersnappers wore us old folks down to take the win. Yesterday I was able to join the kids as a chaperon for ski day at Mt. Snow. It was cold (high single-digits to mid teens), but the sun was bright and there was not a cloud in the sky. It was great to get out on the snowboard again! Here is a pic of one of the kids behind us...

    Headed to Masters workout this morning ...

    200 Swim/100 Kick/200 Pull (plus 50 drill)

    2 x
    4 x 50 on :55 descend (I did 5 @ :45)
    2 x 100 hard on 1:55 (I did 3 @ 1:30 with snorkel)
    200 DPS (I used snorkel and AP)
    50 easy back

    1 x 50 kick :15sr
    1 x 100 pull :15 sr
    1 x 50 kick :20 sr (I did 100 here)
    4 x 75 on 1:10 (easy-build-fast)
    50 easy
    Work on butterfly as a group (~200 yds)
    (Masters/Rec/2950 yds/90 min)

    Great workout that I found in the my binder. We had a full pool with Greg, Luiza, Rachel, Meg and Kevin, with Tim on his own. I enjoyed a little sweat in the sauna after practice as well.

    This afternoon Lena and I went to a memorial service for Marion C, a 96 year old saint that I first met when I started going to church in 1998. She and her husband (a retired Pastor) welcomed me as I entered the sanctuary with my family, and served as spiritual role models when I accept Jesus as my Savior. They loved each other with a love that I never witnessed before, and also shared that with the lives of anyone that they came into contact with. She continued to play the piano when I later helped with Sunday evening services, and even earlier this year at the nursing home where she resided. At the fellowship time after the service we were able to meet up with friends from years ago and share with each other all the ways that Marion spoke into our lives. Amazing woman of God.

    Updated March 1st, 2015 at 03:11 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 02/24/15: noon

    by , February 24th, 2015 at 02:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Sunday was another busy snow removal day here in Vermont, so I skipped swimming. Went back to work yesterday and the boys had their final bball game of the year after school so I also skipped the pool. I did not stay completely dry, as our wash has been acting up and reading a F-21 error, so last night I went about cleaning the water pump filter and drain hose (nasty), which has fixed the issue. Here's to youtube for saving me from paying for a repairman!

    Today is a busy day off, as I went to the Drug Task Force meeting this morning before heading to school for Chapel. This afternoon is the end-of-year basketball banquet plus parents/staff vs. kids fundraiser game, so I will have at least two workouts today (and I might even make it to Masters tonight for team practice!).

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    2 x (50 kick, 100 AP, 150 pull)
    4 x (25 IMO sprint into 25 easy) on :60
    150 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1550 yds/30 min)

    I am still ahead for the GTD goal this year but need to carve out more time to in order to swim longer. I'm still debating the Harvard meet in a couple of weeks; I will again be able to only make the distance day so I am thinking about either the 1000 or 1650. Need to decide by Friday.

    Updated February 24th, 2015 at 03:00 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 02/21/15: morning

    by , February 21st, 2015 at 02:56 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 free/100 kick/200 pull (plus 100 more)

    Main Set = Broken Mile (focus = DPS, streamlining)
    3 x 100 (on 1:25)
    4 x 150 (on 2:05)
    3 x 200 (on 2:50)
    3 x 50 (on :45) (went 34,33,31)

    then an easy 50, wait until next top, 50 fast (went 28)
    (I did 400 kick while everyone else finished up)
    We then worked on backstroke technique and flip turns (about 300 yards)
    (Masters/Rec/3050 yds/90 min)

    The broken mile is a great set and the fast 50 at the end capped off a good aerobic workout. Over the next couple of weeks our team will be having refreshers for all the strokes, as well as starts and turns.
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 02/19/15: noon

    by , February 19th, 2015 at 10:10 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Started the day with some more shoveling (and the trend of snow/bitter arctic blast cold/repeat since January is still holding out) then off to the Bible college for Chapel. I then was able to jump in for a quick swim before lunch:

    200 free/200 back/200 IM drill
    2 x (50 kick/100 AP/150 pull with buoy)
    6 x 25 on :30 fast (fr and bk)
    300 yds wearing Rachel's Garmin gps watch
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1750 yds/35 min)
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 02/17/15: evening

    by , February 17th, 2015 at 10:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I was able to make it to Chapel today and play the drums during worship, so this morning started very well. In the afternoon I started to work on taxes before getting Preston to an appointment. I was able to snap this picture from the front porch as the sun set this evening before heading to practice ...

    We had an extra half-hour for practice tonight due to school vacation week and took some inspiration from a Kiefer workout:

    2 x (150 swim/50 kick/100 pull) [plus 100]
    4 x 50 Quarter's Strong on 1:15
    8 x 75 on :10sr (25 kick/swim/pull) [did 10 on 1:15, swim IMO fast]
    2 x
    - 1 x 200 pull :10sr [did 300 on 4:00]
    - 3 x 50 on :15 sr Build [did 4 on :50; fly, back , fr, fr]
    - 6 x 25 on :20 sr FAST

    4 x 50 Active Recovery and out
    (Masters/Rec/3150 yds/65 min)

    A great workout with Greg, Melissa, and Luiza, as Esther, Marie, and Tim did their own thing.

    Updated February 21st, 2015 at 12:52 AM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 02/15/15: afternoon

    by , February 15th, 2015 at 06:27 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Yesterday our workout group did the One Hour Swim as a challenge, even though it does not count towards the ePostal. Perhaps next year we'll move it to January and have folks register. Greg was good enough to sit on deck with me and take splits. So, a total of nine swimmers from our group took part in the OHS, and averaged just over 3404 yds as a team - not too shabby! As promised we had some sweet treats afterwards ... Chocolate covered strawberries and special sticker

    I was not feeling particularly well so I was very thankful that Greg helped out. I spent the rest of the day catching up on sleep, and made it to the Rec today for an easy swim because it will be closed tomorrow due to the holiday.

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    4 x 300 (100 kick, 100 AP, 100 Pull)
    4 x 75 (kick/swim IMO/pull)
    4 x 100 various drills and easy swimming
    (Solo/Rec/2500 yds/45 min)
    Swim Workouts
  15. Workout 02/13/15: noon

    by , February 13th, 2015 at 02:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    A busy end to the workweek has me feeling alright, especially since I have a staycation next week! I was able to attend the annual Sophomore Summit yesterday, a career event for the county's 10th graders to speak with and have hands-on demonstrations from folks in all types of jobs. I was with the medical/vet crew, and we had a scenario that involved EMT, MD, RPh, and DVM - the kids enjoyed seeing different aspects of our jobs and the paths that we took to get to our profession today. This is my fourth year attending the event, which was held at Bennington College. Here is a picture I snapped in our room:

    This morning I started the day by replacing two outlets in the kitchen and a light switch in the pantry, without getting shocked! Quick swim at lunch before I head over to watch (and most likely talley the score book for) the girls and boys bball games this afternoon.

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    4 x (50 kick, 100 AP, 100 bk pull) continuous
    4 x 25 sprints on traffic
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1900 yds/40 min)

    Updated February 17th, 2015 at 10:55 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  16. Workout 02/10/15: evening

    by , February 10th, 2015 at 10:44 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    It was nice to only have a 20 minute shovel-session this morning before work, but I did spend another half-hour after work this afternoon raking the roof in preparation for an arctic blast over the weekend. Oh the glorious sunshine and blue sky - here is a pic from the backyard ...

    Made it to Masters and enjoyed a great workout with a fun pool of swimmers, featuring a main set from pwb's workout thread over in the forums Workout 1 in week 2.

    150 Swim/50 kick/100 pull (extra 100)
    4 x 50 Burst and Cruise on 1:15
    2 x
    - 3 x 50 (I did 75/75/50 kick)
    - 2 x 100 - fast last 25 (I did 150's)
    - 1 x 200 - fast middle 50 (I did 200 IM drill
    rd 1 on 1:00/50 base, 30 seconds Vertical Kicking,
    rd 2 on 1:10/50 base

    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2200 yds/45 min)

    7 people for a Tuesday night is a lot for us, and it was great swimming with Carol, Greg, Luiza, Melissa, Rachel, and Tim. Our team is planning on doing the One Hour Swim this weekend for fun - only Greg and I did it in January and submitted the entry for the ePostal. I thought it would be a good experience for everyone to try and I'll be able to use the results to set up bases for future workouts. Since we will be swimming on Valentine's Day, I am dubbing it as a great heart workout and plan on having a few sweet treats after the swim.
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 02/09/15: evening

    by , February 9th, 2015 at 09:36 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    So the snow has now entered day three (actually, it was three storms that just happened to line up together) and I was up at quarter of 6 this morning, not to swim, but to shovel the driveway! Took a little over an hour, but I was able to get showered up and some breakfast before work at 8. More shoveling at 5 then off to the pool at 6 ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    50 kick, 100 AP, 200 pull
    100 easy
    (Solo/Rec/1400 yds/25 min)

    Tonight I was again very much looking forward to stretching out in water after a busy day. The snow should end around 10pm tonight, then cold air moves back in. I'm hopeful that tomorrow morning will be a quick shovel session.
    Swim Workouts
  18. Workout 02/08/15: afternoon

    by , February 8th, 2015 at 06:33 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I have been looking forward to a nice swim since Thursday, when lots of little loose ends kept me out of the pool before I headed to class. But ... we have had some much snow in the past week or so that I am able to get some quality drylands in with the shovel. At this point I am starting to run out of room for the snow around the house! Busy weekend at work as folks panic about the "new" storm currently overheard - picked up 3 inches overnight, expected to get another couple of inches tonight, then likely a foot tomorrow into Tuesday. So, a nice stretch-out today swim today was just what I needed.

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    400 shark swim
    2 x 300 (100 left, 100 right, 100 both hands AP)
    4 x 50 as 25 easy, 25 IMO fast
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1900 yds/40 min)

    I'm hoping that the Rec does not close tomorrow due to the storm. I was able to check in with Kevin, Rebecca, and Marie at the pool, which was hot and cloudy. Marie was in FL and swam at the ISHOF recently - she loved it! Someday I would like to get there myself
    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 02/04/15: noon

    by , February 4th, 2015 at 08:28 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After last week's OHS my head cold flared back up and I remained dry. I could have gotten in a short swim before the Super Bowl on Sunday, but church in the morning I met with a classmate to catch up on a project before going to the nursing home, so I ditched the swim. With our Patriots in the big game, we had a get-together with the family filled with food and good conversation, plus a great game! Oh, and I can't forget the annual challenge from my buddy jaadams1 - this year he came up with the loser doing 10 x 100 fly on 1:40. While his Hawks lost the game (he did the swim on Monday with even faster intervals while I shoveled a foot of snow), today I was able to get into the water and do it as well.

    200 Free/200 Back/200 IM drill
    10 x 100 on 1:40 (held 1:25 for first 5, 1:30 on rest, with 1 length single-arm on #6-9)
    1 minute rest
    1 x 100 for time - went 1:12 (and didn't puke)
    400 (100 kick, 100 AP)
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2200 yds/45 min)

    Updated February 9th, 2015 at 09:37 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 01/26/15: One Hour Swim

    by , January 26th, 2015 at 10:48 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!
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