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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 07/09/12: OW

    by , July 9th, 2012 at 10:45 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    w/u: 360 FR, 120 IM

    Drills:
    2 x 60 FR
    1 x 180 FR
    1 x 60 FR (broken halfway to 1 min Vertical Kicking )
    10 x 60 (with 5 pushups halfway through)
    2 x 60 w/d
    (Marauders/Lake Paren/1560yds/55 min)
    -----------------

    Since the Rec is closed, I have been weighing options for training. Lake Paren is in North Bennington, about fifteen minutes from my house. The age group team, the Marauders, are also without a pool, and using the Hoosick Falls pool in the morning and Lake Paren in the evening, three times a week. Since the coaches don't want to swim in the water, I have volunteered to swim with the kids to provide some motivation, and it happens to fall very nicely into my schedule Monday evenings from 5-6.

    There is a dock 30 yards from shore, hence the funky distances. It is a weedy lake, and the eight kids swimming were freaked out by it. I just laughed since the weeds were hiding various fish and salamanders, so I had a great time enjoying the waterlife. We used the dock for pushups - up the ladder, flex those muscles, then dive back to shore. I issued the challenge - the kids had to do six before I completed ten; if not, a long swims through the weeds! They beat me

    Updated July 10th, 2012 at 08:46 AM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  2. 07/07/12: Fourth Kingdom Swim (My First)

    by , July 8th, 2012 at 08:58 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Fair warning: long blog post to follow ...
    The mighty [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Memphremagog"]Lake Memphremagog[/ame] lived up to expectations as I splashed in for the Kingdom Swim this weekend. I made it to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont on Friday after a four hour drive from my home and took advantage of the early check-in before meeting up with my yaker and our families to head over to Prouty's Beach, where the swim begins and ends. We then headed down to our log cabin rental, which was one exit south on I-91 near Lake Willoughby, to check in before heading back to Newport for the Frontier Animal Society’s Pet and Swimmers Parade through the center of town and the Pasta Dinner, where we fueled up with lasagna, spaghetti, salad, and some chocolate cake. I met up with the two other Bennington area swimmers, Bethany (who swam last year and just got back from Ned Dennison's Cork, Ireland, swim camp) and Brent (my FISH buddy in Williamstown, who was also taking part in his first 10 mile swim) during the evening.

    The next morning saw overcast skies and some minor sprikles (as forecasted) as we hit the beach to unload our equipment. The area was well organized and the kayaks were placed according to the mileage on the east end of the beach with the starting chute on the the west. I met up with some other forumites, Kent from Arizona and Kevin from Maryland, before the race started. I was really bummed not to find Swimsuit Addict or Vivebene Safety is key for the event, and about five minutes before the 8am start numbers were called out for the swimmers that did not check in before entering the chute. Once everyone was accounted for, we lined up on the beach and waited for the mass start of 70+ swimmers into the 70 water to begin. I decided to be involved but not too engaged in the fray, so I splashed in towards the left of the pack as we headed out to the first buoy (S). I was able to weave towards the front and ended up sixth around the orange blob before settleing into an even stroke as we picked up yakers en route to Buoy 1. Let's introduce the course map at this point, as I'll be referring to it:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The clouds held back the sun for my whole swim, although it brightened up between Buoys 2+3. My most excellent kayaker Bobby was right on top of navigation as well as feeding me every 30 minutes, all the while providing encouragement. Once I hit Bouy 3, the first long stretch was before us and the next buoy was out of sight. I wanted to get across the lake quickly so I alternated 20 strong swim cycles with 50 smooth ones, and soon we came to Buoy 4 through some mild waves (I was thinking if this is the worst, I am in good shape). I still had some energy left and asked the folks in the sherrif's boat which direction Prouty's Point was - got some laughs just withing sight of . Buoys 5+6 came quickly, and we noticed two things as we headed towards 6 - the chop was picking up with the wind and lots of swimmers ahead of us were shooting more towards eastern edge of Derby Bay (towards the "C" on the map) than Buoy 6. Bob kept me on a tight line to 6 due to the swells, and it felt like I was swimming perpendicular to it and not making much progress.

    The wind kept picking up and the skies darkened a bit on our way to 6b, to the extent that we both were thinking that the threat of a thunderstorm ending the swim might happen - thankfully it did not. On an encouraging note for me, we also started passing those ahead of us that didn't stay closer to the islands. Once near 6a, the support boat shouted that a lot of swimmers were being pushed hard into Derby Bay, so by staying tight to the islands we were avoiding the extra effort needed to get out to Buoy 7. Here is the part where I was really surprised - Bob for the first time mentioned the time, "It's quarter to 12." That means that I was ahead of the 4 hour mark with roughly 2.5 miles to go! That was huge motivation for me to refocus my stroke and mind on powering through the end of the race since it was miserable swimming conditions. It was great knowing that I was reeling in those ahead of me through the two foot waves that were pushing me down the course, instead of fighting through them.

    Between 7+8 I was able to catch two of the 6-mile swimmers, and at buoy 8 the support boat encouraged us that only 3/10ths of mile remained. Well, I am under the impression that it was longer than 3/10ths of a mile and maybe they added extra buoys in this lower part of the course because it took fifteen minutes to come in. I was alternating ten "breasterfly" strokes (breaststroke arms with dolphin kicks) and fifty freestyle strokes as my arms were fatigued and it felt really good to stretch out. I also swam backstroke at different points to help keep loose. Heading past the start buoy into the beach was tough, as the waves were moving heavily perpendicular to shore. About 20 yards out I was hitting bottom, so I took a brief moment before standing up to make sure my legs still worked, then scampered to the beach where my wife and son were waiting, and Bob's wife and son were taking pictures. We made it, with an unbelievable time of 4 hours, 37.07 seconds!

    I was offered a drink of water or gatorade, even warm chicken broth if needed, by the staff on the beach. They even passed sweatshirts out to help warm us up. It took about 20 minutes after finishing for me to be brave enough to sit down and the sun to make an appearance, so we headed over to the food tent were swimmer and yaker ate for free, and everyone else munched for only $5. I was thinking a cheeseburger would be great around Buoy 6a, and munched on one afterwards! Somewhere in this time I missed SA finish, and I checked out the time boards on the side of the building for the girls' numbers, but had no luck finding them. We did see the kid's swims (8/u-17 could choose 100yds, 1/4 and 1-mile) as well as the adult 1-mile. We stayed for the awards ceremony which was a great gathering for those getting awards, especially watching the little kids head up for their "Woodal" - a hand-carved wooden medallion.

    So my time was totally unexpected given the horrible head cold I had the past two week, since I trained a lot more before the 10K last year and was exhausted at the end of that. Having only swam three times I would have been elated to get in around the 5 hour mark. Maybe the break was needed? I think two things were key for me: having great sighting from the best wingman in the business, my buddy Bobby, and also the nutrition aspect, which came together from a lot of research on the marathonswim forums and other blogs by marathon swimmers. I used a maltodextrin-based feed, flavored with juice, on the bottom of each hour, and an electrolyte-based feed on the top of the hour. No backfires like the fruit cups I ended up loosing after the 10k - only some minor gas for a few minutes. I followed a suggestion of using a retractable dog leash hooked to my bottles, so I only had to swim to the yak for the feed. We strapped a crate to the back of the kayak, but the weight of the drinks would have left Bob doing wheelies, so we moved the drinks into the kayak, which was more accessible for him to refill bottles. I only had an extra dose of water once, and did not get into the gel shots or chocolate bar that were on board. To keep my mind from drifting like my body, I again reviewed the New Testament books of the Bible in order, and also spent a great deal of the swim praying. For me, being surrounded by God's Creation and having a lot of time on my hands makes for a great boost in my prayer life.

    I would highly recommend this swim to anyone that is looking to move above the marathon 10k swim distance, or even to come out for one of the lower distance courses as Memphremagog is a gorgeous lake, the swim is very well organized (they can arrange for a kayak and/or a kayaker for you if needed), and the activities surrounding the swim are great for adding to a family vacation. We had a blast walking down the main street during the parade and also watching the events unfold on the beach. We did not go out one of the two boat tours of the course, but was able to talk with folks who have swum the race in the past and use the maps to succesfully navigate the swim. Next year this will be the 9+ Mile USMS National Championship, a great draw to get more swimmers out to support that programs that are helped from this and other athletic events in the region. I am already looking to book the same cabin for a week next year, and my thoughts are also towards finding a longer swim to add to my list.

    Oh, I will get an album of pics up soon, but here is a picture of team "Can't Stop the Leake" (only my daughter was unable to make the trip):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Updated July 9th, 2012 at 12:22 AM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Open Water
  3. 07/06/12

    by , July 6th, 2012 at 09:10 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I arrived safely to Newport for Kingdom Swim. Met up with my yaker and spent the day relaxing. Marched now the parade and just finished the pre-race meal (last supper?). Feeds mixed, off to prepare the yak.

    My race number is 33.

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    Updated October 18th, 2012 at 12:05 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    NSR
  4. Workout 07/03/12:

    by , July 3rd, 2012 at 10:33 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    w/u: 200 FR/200 IM drill

    10 x 200's various
    - drills, kicks, swim, stroke work

    200 float and out
    (Solo/Hoosick Falls Pool/2600yds/45 min)
    -------------------------------------

    Wow. This last week has been a blur due to a nasty head cold, which was very similar to one I had at the beginning of the year. Last Monday during my double I swallowed some water, then the sore throat, mucous machine and sinus clogging began. I missed the Berkshire's swim at Richmond Pond (although Brent was able to go) and battled this illness while working, taking a nap during lunch and basically sleeping whenever I have been home. Big disappointment. Add to that the closing of our town's pool for at least July and August for repairs to the building around the pool due to chlorine exhaust corrosion, and I am bumming!

    The nearest pool is just across the NY border in Hoosick Falls, an outdoor, five-lane 25yd pool built in the 60's. I have never been there before, but since I am feeling somewhat better I headed over today for the "workout" above just to get into the clear water on the beautiful morning we had. The pool is concrete, but has a liner like the KMart pool I have in the backyard. You can't really do flipturns (and I didn't) because when you push off, there is two inches of play between the two membranes. Wild stuff. There is a really interesting cross current too, between the diving well on the southwest side of the pool and the kiddie splash area on the northeast side, which was pretty trippy.

    Hey, it's a place to swim. I have tomorrow off and then work Thursday, and on Friday the family and I are heading up to Newport to get checked in for the Kingdom swim. Not exactly the type of taper I was planning on before my first ten mile swim. Some things we just don't have control over, and can only make the best of the circumstances were in. I am not able to take a full breath without coughing, so my focus for the swim is completion and also meeting the forumites who will be there.

    I do have access to one of the gyms in town now, so I will be dropping in next week to work on cardio. Peaks for Portland is two weeks after Kingdom, and I plan on supplementing my training with some more lake swims to keep jbs and slknight at bay. Next week I will be heading back to Phili for my daugther's orientation at Drexel, so I might try to meet up with Tom again for a swim. After Peaks, I will restart the lifting program in earnest (although I am still using my bands to keep my shoulders strong for the swims at this point).

    Good luck to all you Natsy folks this weekend, that pool looks amazing! Maybe they'll keep the flame throwers loaded for a few swim!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Planning
  5. Workout 06/25/12: evening

    by , June 25th, 2012 at 09:35 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I did a slightly modified version of Fort's [ame="http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=20835"]workout #4 (6/11-17/12)[/ame] tonight as time allowed:

    Warm up:
    400 choice
    8 x (25 drill + 25 kick) @ 1:15
    -- 2 of each stroke
    4 x 50 torque drill @ 1:30
    50 EZ

    Speed sets:
    8 x 50 burst + cruise @ 1:00
    50 EZ

    1 x 100 AFAP FR (went 58.3)
    200 EZ

    2 x through:
    -- 1 round free/kick
    1 x 25 @ 100 pace + 25 EZ @ 1:30
    1 x 25 AFAP + 75 EZ @ 2:15
    1 x 50 AFAP + 100 EZ @ 4:00

    8 x 50 @ 1:30
    - 1-4: IM rotation
    - 5-8: Quarter's Strong FR
    100 EZ
    (Solo/Rec/2850yds/65 min)
    --------------------------

    I was able to say hi to GregJS tonight during the Monday evening swim - I miss getting there recently as it is more of a social time for me. I was picking his brain on breaststroke tecnique, as I regard him as my coach for for this horrible stroke.

    This was a great speed workout - the intervals are almost spot on for really putting in the effort and getting rewarded with a little rest. Truth be told, I almost did the Lactate Production workout but after I wrote it down it dawned on me that I might have made a mistake. The 100 fast time was really good - not sure when I have gone that fast from a push in a while, and since I am not feeling very speedy of late it was nice to hammer out. I am still trying to balance store rate speed and not cutting my pull short on the fast swims - still more work to go. I don't have a parachute so I just modified that section a bit.

    With work tomorrow I will likely not be able to swim, unless I get out right at 8pm and make the last 15 minutes of masters practice to stretch out. I may not be that motivated, though.

    Oh, for your viewing pleasure, here is a look at the shirts I had made up for my open water swims this year. My yaker Bobby came up with the slogan and my talented sister Jill did the drawing (Bob's mom works for the Army/Navy shop in town and got us a good deal on printing). The Kingdom mountains to the Portland Light ...

    Updated June 25th, 2012 at 09:56 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 06/25/12: noon

    by , June 25th, 2012 at 02:52 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 FR/200 BK/200 RIM drill

    Go three times through:
    - 400 Swim
    - 200 Kick
    - 300 Pull with buoy

    1 x 500 Noah's Ark (last 200 cooldown)
    (Solo/Rec/3200yds/60 min)
    ---------------------

    As planned, Sunday was laid back for me. Met up with my brothers and sister and our families for breakfast at the old A&W in town, took some pictures, then I went out for two motorcycle rides in the afternoon. We had dinner with my mother-and-sister-in-law at home, then I mowed the lawn. A relaxing day ...

    Today I planned on a long continuous swim with a twist, so I did some SKP's. The middle one I did a 400im out in front, pretty slow but I did it. I plan to get back tonight since Men's Group is on hold for a few weeks and get in more of a HIT-ish workout.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 06/23/12:

    by , June 23rd, 2012 at 02:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 FR/200 BK/200 RIM

    assigned: Did:
    1 x 500 ... 1 x 700 pull with buoy
    5 x 100 ... 5 x 100 IM
    1 x 500 ... 250 kick, 150 swim, 250 pull with buoy
    5 x 100 ... 4 x 100 Quarter's Strong + 1 IM
    1 x 500 ... 1 x 700 pull with buoy

    Added on:
    4 x 75 on 1:00
    - 25 stroke/25 FR Sprint/25 FR DPS
    - Did 2 Fly and 2 BK

    100 loosen and out.
    (Masters/Rec/4050yds/90 min)
    -------------------

    Great to finally get in with the team today. Like many of you, I always put a little extra effort into my swims. Bethany, who is also doing the Kingdom swim (she did it last year) was there, as well as Kevin, Meg, Jill, and Nicole, Tom, and Marie who did their own thing.

    I added some yardage to the long swims so that we could all stay at the same intervals. We had plenty of time to between swims, and the first set of 100's were on 2:00 and the second set were on 2:15 to really work the AFAP quarter. Felt really good in the water today.

    Yesterday the afternoon swim didn't happen, which is fine. I met with my brothers and family for some mini-golfing, and then enjoyed a great massage with Lena. Dinner at Chili's and then dessert with the extended family at Clearbrook Farmsfor strawberry paloza - BYOS (bring your own shortcake). Delicious end of the day!

    Today my aunt is coming in from Boston for lunch, then we have a graduation party and my nephew's first boxing match before Relay for Life tonight. Tomorrow might not be so busy.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  8. Workout 06/22/12:

    by , June 22nd, 2012 at 11:12 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 FR/100 BK/200 RIM drill
    5 x 100 kick on 1:50

    Build a 200 IM:the IM chasm of doom(tm) scares me
    4 x 50 IMO on :10sr
    3 x 100 on :15sr
    - FL/BK, BK/BR, BR/FR
    2 x 150 on :15sr
    - FL/BK/BR, BK/BR/FR
    1 x 200 IM (went 2:46)

    12 x 25 IMO on :30
    - I haven't done a 25's set since March.

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2500yds/50 min)
    -----------------------------

    Well, it has been hotter than a cat on a tin roof around these parts lately - it would be nice if we had a/c in the pharmacy but the swivel fan provides marginal relief, even if the Focalin capsules are a bit sticky. My only true reprieve from the heat is ice cream, so I have decided that it is a good time to find six pounds that I lost over the winter and call it "bulking up for the Kingdom Swim."

    I missed the Tri Train this am, and am kind of sorry I did because a peculiar thing happens when 4-5 are doing a workout in the adult swim time - people get out of the way! During the workout today I switched from circle to splitting the lane three times, just for some folks to swim a 200 then leave. Oh well, not really complaining, just making an observation.

    Found this IM set on a workout card on the Masters' board, and decided to go for it. Depending on traffic in the lane, I shuffled stroke order to prevent collisions. The 25's were fun - did them at about 85% since the water is 85 degrees. I thought it was cooler, but I guess when the air temp is 90+, the water will feel that way.

    I would like to double at lunch today since I have a massage booked for 3:45 with my wife. My brother and family are still out from Washington State, so may not happen. If not, I am going to get in with the Masters group tomorrow morning anyways. I am already at my weekly yardage from last week (14.6k yds), due to that long swim on Monday. The family (including cats) are getting a kick out of my recent foam roller purchase and use ... Now, where did Ben and Jerry go?

    Updated June 22nd, 2012 at 10:49 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 06/20/12:

    by , June 20th, 2012 at 10:59 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 FR/100 BK/200 RIM drill

    4 x 200 FR Pull with buoy on Base (2:40)
    4 x 50 kick on :55
    1 x Noah's Ark (last 200 was loosen and out)

    (Solo/Rec/2000yds/30 min)
    -------------------------------

    I slept in a bit today and missed the Tri Train during my swim before work. Started off with other swimmers about pool options with the Rec closing July and August for pool building repairs. More and more I am seeing that these months will be more of a rest for me than anything - I can get into the outdoor pool in Hoosick Falls 8:30-9:30am, or hop in some lakes. It'll be good to not be so focused on swimming 5-7 times a week by dropping down to 2-3 times a week, especially after the couple of events in July are complete.

    Swim in today before work, and tomorrow I will dry since I am working the whole time the Rec is open. I'm planning on a double on Friday and hopefully a splash with the Master's group on Saturday, but we'll have to wait and see how the rest of the week plays out.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 06/19/12:

    by , June 19th, 2012 at 02:17 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 FR/100 BK/200 RIM drill

    4 x 50 kick on :55
    4 x 100 FR Pull on Base (1:20)

    4 x 50 kick on :55
    1 x 150 FR Pull on Base (2:00)
    1 x 100 FR Pull on Base
    1 x 150 FR Pull on Base

    4 x 50 Kick on :55
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2000yds/35 min)
    ---------------------------------

    My shoulders were stiff today after the long swim yesterday, so I focused on kicking and also technique to stretch out. The idea was sets of 600: 200 kick then 400 pull, but due to lack of time I missed the last two 400's (would have done 2 x 200 then 1 x 400). It was quite in the pool this morning so I was able to cruise through, getting 5 sr on the 100's and 8 sr on the 150's.

    Happy swimming to you all
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 06/18/12:

    by , June 18th, 2012 at 09:49 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Today I was able to meet up with GregJS near his home, just over the Green Mountains from me, to take a dive into the Harriman Reservoir for a long swim. I took up his offer to paddle as we embarked on a 2.5-3 hr swim, and it worked out that today was the day. I slathered on a total of two coats of the Coppertone kids spf50 (with zinc oxide) and headed out from the house.

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    I met up with Greg at 1:40pm and we headed to the Oxbow Boat Launch area right off Route 9. I was interested in putting my feeding schedule to the test during a long swim, and also trying the storage and method of feeding. I have The Big Bobber cooler and have found that it does float in the water while fishing, so I roped it onto the kayak thinking that it would just float along. Well, it didn't. A few minutes after starting our swim around 2:30, I noticed that Greg had not caught up to me. I looked back to see the bobber sinking as it filled up with water! Must have been the force of dragging it through the water that did it in. It so happened that it sat comfortably over his lap on the kayak (minus the extra water, of course) and didn't impede paddling, so he just ported it that way for the rest of the swim.

    It was another glorious day for a swim. The water was clear and clean, with visibility to about 8 feet. The sun was shining high above through the blue skies, occasionally hiding behind a passing cloud. Air temp was around 74, water temp perceived at 69. We swam into a headwind the first half of the swim, as well as some passing swells from powerboats. Overall, not very busy on the lake and we picked out objects ahead to swim to.

    Here is a link to the path of the swim. We made it withing sight to the first island and decided to turn around and head back. Swimming from the eastern to western bank was perhaps the most scary part of the trip, as boats were coming in both directions. I used it as a midway sprint to lessen our exposure, and it turns out the boats stayed away until we were on the other side.

    I again used my safe swimmer buoy and experienced no issues with it. It did tug a little more today when the chop on the lake increased, but not to the point of being a distraction. It was fun swimming the reservoir, as there were no weeds to contend to . The only freaky thing was the random, but regular bubbles rising up from the abyss. I convinced myself that these were from the decomposing plant matter at the bottom of the lake, and not a snapping turtle or sucker-fish. Greg confirmed that the Harrimonster was reeled in at some point in the past few years, but could not fully confirm that it did not leave a spawn that might be following me.

    Ended up swimming 4.42 miles in just under 2 hours 28 minutes (1.8 mph pace). The feedings went well, although I am going to change the first hour to include a half feed of carbohydrate and electrolytes - I was really craving the salty stuff and didn't taste it until the 2nd hour. I was really fortunate that Greg (THANKS GREG!) was able to take time out of his day to slowly explore the Harriman with me, as well as let me borrow a cap (since I forgot mine). Great day for a swim all around!

    Oh, graduation was also a real blessing over the weekend. Emma's ceremony was not too long nor boring, and she went to the "all night party" as we rolled some deli meat and got prepared for her party on Saturday. Lots of family and friends came to enjoy the sunny afternoon, which included a bouncy house that only tipped over when I was in it. I also had a relaxing Father's Day, which included a hammock assembled by the kids and Lena, and a campfire and smore's at night. Adding to that, my big brother Bryan and family are visiting from Washington State for the week, so it has been fun catching up with them (including my ten-month-old niece).
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  12. Workout 06/15/12:

    by , June 15th, 2012 at 11:05 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    100 FR

    250 FR (25 DPS/25 FAST repeat)

    100 FR swim moderate/100 kick fast
    50 swim/50 kick
    100 swim/100 kick

    500 "Shark swim"
    - Hold kickboard between legs and pull 25, then kick FAST 25

    250 loosen and out
    (Tri Train/Rec/1600yds/35 min)
    ------------------------------

    I was a little late to the pool this morning and just hopped in with the Tri Train. The Shark swim was fun - the goal was to swim the 500yds, or until I caught the group. I finally reeled 'em in (lapped them) on my #10, and we were all gassed. The reason was to give me a motivation to go faster, but they all laughed that they were at the point of puking so it was fun all around.

    Work until 2pm, then off the rest of the day to prepare for Emma's graduation this evening and the party tomorrow.

    Updated June 15th, 2012 at 03:10 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 06/14/12: evening

    by , June 14th, 2012 at 10:50 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    100 FR/100 BK/200 RIM drill

    Go two times through:
    2 x 50 Might Mouse kicks
    4 x 50 FR on :45 DPS

    Gotwo times through:
    1 x Noah's Ark on 6:30
    4 x 50 skull/drill on 1:30

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2600yds/50 min)
    --------------------------

    What a busy day I ended up with. After the morning swim, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend stopped by the house to help me clear some brush piles in preparation for the graduation party on Saturday. Bonus: the dump didn't charge to dispose of the woody stuff!

    I got home to find my father-in-law, who is visiting from Tennessee and celebrating his birthday today, taking measurments in the basement for an electric hot water heater I have been talking about for a while. He was bored hanging around town so volunteered to help me put it in. With the help of some shark-bites, a mini geyser capped and small shower of sparks (yes, in that order), I was able to rig the new unit up. Success mostly due to non-reliance on the oil furnace for our hot water now.

    Then I joined my neighbor for a short motorcycle ride on some of the back roads near home. He just bought his sister's Vulcan and got his permit, so we took it easy cruising around. Always good to have another riding buddy.

    I felt better during the swim tonight, and only had one other swimmer in the pool. Mighty Mouse is a variation of the corkscrew drill from Pat's blog that I do while kicking - right arm in front while rotating from back to stomach every 5 or so seconds, in the opposite direction on the second lap -- left arm in front the next time. I really attacked the Ark's, going 6:16 on number one and 6:11 on number two. Felt strong and in control - nice.

    After the swim, we went to dinner at the brew pub in town, in honor of Emma's graduation. Some ice cream for desert and now I am ready for some sleep. Swim in the morning before work (more Sharkys, no doubt), then most likely dry through the end of the weekend.

    Happy Father's Day to all you dad's out there on the intertubes, and especially you men that do not have kids but serve as mentors and encouraging influences to the folks around you.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 06/14/12: morning

    by , June 14th, 2012 at 12:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 FR/100 BK/200 IM Drill

    100 FR EZ

    Repeat four times:
    2 x 50 Kick on 1:00
    1 x 200 FR pull with buoy on 3:00

    200 w/d
    (Solo/Rec/2000yds/40 min)
    ---------------------------
    I was feeling very unmotivated this morning, a lot of it I attribute to only eating a PBJ sandwich last night after that lake swim. I had a tough time getting out of bed so I muddled through a relatively low-key workout this morning. I did manage to descend the 200 FR by round (2:34, :31, :26, :23) - at least there is a positive.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  15. Workout 06/13/12

    by , June 14th, 2012 at 12:04 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Drove to Monterey this evening to join the PaceMakers for their Wednesday evening OW swim. Not California, silly, but rather Massachusetts (a much more reasonable 80 minute drive.

    I arranged with Brent to carpool, as he works on the way to Lake Garfield and is also doing the Kingdom Swim. Great to get the chance to know him better, and prove that I can get lost even while following the GPS with someone besides my wife in the car.

    Meet Bill and a total of five others for a swim in this gem of a lake: 70.5 degree water, visibility ten feet, and buoys making key sections throughout. I tried out my new Safe Swimmer orange buoy and found no problems with it at all, actually having to stop from time to time to make sure it was still attached! I had my sandals, shirt, shorts, keys, and phone secure and dry the whole swim.

    We swam to the big rock after the dogleg, stopping a couple of times to regroup before meeting two of the late-comers on the return trip. We went at a leisurely pace, enjoying the full blue canvas dotted with fluffy white clouds above the small chop and glistening evening sun of the surface. Not a boat to be seen, but plenty of birds sailing through the air and singing to us. Glorious Creation!

    All told, a great 2 mile swim in 70 minutes, followed by a small potluck if bbq chicken, fresh greens, potato salad and Tabouli, and some cookies! Some goof from Vermont only brought granola bars, but he seemed to get the hint that more is expected next time.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tags: berkshires
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  16. Workout 06/11/12: noon

    by , June 11th, 2012 at 10:59 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    100 FR/100 BK/100 drill (Fly and BR)

    go two times through:
    500 Free on 6:30
    4 x 50 IMO on :50
    4 x 50 Quarter's Strong FR on :50

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2300yds/35 min)
    --------------------------

    I was able to sneak out of work early today and get in for a swim before lunch. GregJS was there so I got to say hello - haven't seen him in weeks. I'm going to take up his offer to kayak for me at a resoviour between our towns next week (if the weather holds) - thanks again, Greg.

    I had wanted to do this set three times, but the clock did not allow for that. My aim was to mix a strong distance swim with some peppier 50's (kinda like the middle of a longer race when you want to pass someone). I actually descended the 500's, going 6:13 first then I really put effort into the second one, going 6:02. After that, I puttered around the house, moving some of the summer furniture outside and mowing the grass.

    It has been a crazy week with working extra to get time off for my daughter's graduation this Friday. I plan to keep doubling up one or two days a week for the next two weeks heading into Kingdoms swim. I dropped weight lifting last week (even though I haven't really blogged about that aspect in a while). Might try to play one more game of basketball, but since that has moved outside and my chances of getting hurt will increase, I will likely drop that until they head back inside.

    As promised, here is a pic of my daughter and her friends. Emma is wearing the green dress - don't know where she gets all that craziness from ...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bible study tonight with the men's group, then my last long day tomorrow of work. Planning on a swim in the Berkshires on Wednesday night after a meeting at the corporate office - if the weather holds out this week ....
    Oh, I also updated my Charles River race report with my official time and a link to a picture album I have on facebook if you want to check it out.

    Updated June 12th, 2012 at 12:12 AM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 06/11/12: morning

    by , June 11th, 2012 at 02:38 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    w/u: 200 FR/100 B K/200 RIM drill

    10 x 50 kick on ~ 1:00

    4 x 200 FR Pull with buoy on :15 sr
    1 x 200 IM-ish

    4 x 75 FR on 1:00

    50 EZ
    100 IM for time (1:13.47 - ouch)
    50 EZ 100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2600yds/50 min)
    --------------------------

    The Tri-train did not pull into station this morning, so I just departed for the journey on my own. I plan to swim again at lunch. The weekend was almost a blur - worked, went to the drive-in's Friday night, Emma's Senior Ball after work on Saturday (I'll put up a picture when I get to the computer tonight), and yesterday I put motorcycle riding on hold to work around the house.

    Of note, there have been three motorcycle fatalities in the past week in my neck of the woods. I do my best not to be an idiot when riding, and these serve as a reminder that I need to always be processing what is happening around me while riding. I think the higher number is due to Americaide wrapping up last week and lots of folks (like, 2,000+ bikers) heading east to Laconia, NH, for the rally there during the next 10 days or so.

    REMEMBER TO LOOK TWICE FOR BIKES, no matter what you're driving.

    Updated June 11th, 2012 at 06:18 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  18. Workout 06/08/12:

    by , June 8th, 2012 at 02:49 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 FR/100 BK/100 IM drill

    300 FR (50 DPS/50 FAST)

    3 x 100

    100 FR/100 kick

    150 FR/100 kick

    250 Sharky* <-- Train ride over

    1 x Noah's Ark

    200 stroke loosen and out

    (Tri Train/Rec/2400yds/50 min)
    ---------------------------------------

    I made it to the pool this morning before the "Triathlete Train" started on it's trek, so I was encouraged to play the role of Engine #9. Jill gave the workout after each distance, and we alternated with speed and also kicking. *What's a Sharky? Swim 25 with a kickboard between your legs (looks like you grew a dorsal fin) and then kick with it back - we were told to sprint the kick and use the pull as recovery. (I'll add this over to my glossary at some point). I tossed in a Ark at the end for good measure since I had some time.

    I hope to get into the water at some point this weekend, but it looks doubtful. We have plans to go to the drive-ins tonight (http://hathawaysdrive-in.com/), Emma has her Senior Ball on Saturday, and basketball Sunday, all after my work days. Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Travel mercies and a special "Swim Fast" to all you Worlds swimmers
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 06/06/12:

    by , June 6th, 2012 at 03:59 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    w/u: 100 FR/100 BK/200 RIM drill

    Pull with buoy valley:
    300, 150, 100, 4 x 50, 100, 150, 300

    4 x 100 kick on 2:00

    100 loosen and out

    (Solo/Rec/2200yds/40 min)
    ------------------------------------

    I was a tad late getting to the pool this morning and the triathlon train was full, so I did my best to swim around it, taking a max of 10sr during the trip to the valley and back. It is nice to check in with some swimmers that I don't usually see, including my dentist. Also, I talked to Rich (a new masters swimmer) and found out that he will be doing his first Tri this weekend at the Pittsfield Sprint - go for it! Maybe I'll catch the train on Friday morning of I can pull into station early.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 06/05/12:

    by , June 5th, 2012 at 02:08 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    w/u: 200 FR/100 BK/200 RIM drill

    4 x 50 FR strong on :45

    6 x 50 Kick on :60

    4 x 100 FR Pull on 1:20

    2 x 50 dolphin kin with kickboard on 1:20

    400 long loosen and out

    (Solo/Rec/2000yds/40 minutes)
    ------------------------------------

    Felt a bit rough after the total distance workout yesterday. I was able to hold 1:12's on the pulls, which was good for me. I did the dolphin kicks as part of Jim T.'s experiment and will add that to the forum thread later today. Of note, when I do skd's without a board (usually I'll do 25yds on my side, 25yds on my back) and did more per 50 with a board than without (50 and 52 vs 37-39).

    Back to work today, and I will have to swim before work tomorrow and Friday in order to stay wet. I am not really excited about that, but have no other options at this point.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts