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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 07/16/13: evening

    by , July 16th, 2013 at 09:57 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Took advantage of my day off to be lazy and catch up on some odds and ends around the house. Got in tonight for swim with the team; well, GregJS was there to share the pool with me.

    200 Swim/200 Kick/200 Pull

    Main set adapted from RickMile's set today:
    1 X 100 1:50 backstroke
    2 X 200 3:30 IM
    3 X 100 1:45 FR - last two with agility paddles
    2 X 250 4:30 with snorkel; 1st=fast middle 50, 2nd=fast middle 100
    4 X 100 1:40 IM (did 50/50 Fly/Breast )

    8 x 25 on :40
    - odds = burst and cruise
    - evens = sprint IMO

    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2700 yds/60 min)

    A nice swim tonight, with a good amount of rest between efforts. Planning to swim before work on Friday then try to get back into the swim of things next week with more speed work.

    Updated July 16th, 2013 at 11:30 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 07/15/13: evening

    by , July 15th, 2013 at 10:34 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Well, I made it back into the water today for a recovery swim, after racing 12.4 miles OW in the past two weeks - you can ready my Peaks to Portland blog here. Had a great weekend in Maine, and was not overly tired for work this morning. Got in the water before supper:

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill

    Kick-Swim-Pull with snorkle (board/Agility paddles/buoy)
    050 100 150
    100 200 300
    050 100 150

    100 easy and out
    (Solo/Rec/1900 yds/35 min)

    Recovery. In order to get two weekends off in a row, I needed to swap so I will be working Wed->Tues, maybe covering in Rutland again next Wed, meeting at corporate next Thurs, then my regular weekend next week. Swimming will be sparse, but I'll do my best to get in as much as possible to keep moving with Betsy Owens in 4 weeks. Should be an intersting experiment! Haha
    Swim Workouts
  3. 07/13/13: Peaks to Portland OW Swim

    by , July 14th, 2013 at 09:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I had another great time at the 32nd annual Peaks to Portland 2.4 mile ocean swim in Portland, Maine. This was my fourth year in a row attending, a great trip that allows me time to catch up with friends in the city and swim to help raise funds for the YMCA there. You can see my blog from last year here for some background info if you'd like, including why the use duct tape is encouraged

    I headed up on Friday morning (after an EZ 1000yds in the pool) with my son and checked in, receiving my cap, kayaker's flag, and tee shirt, then we went to the East End Beach, where the swim ends, to enjoy the beautiful day. Dinner again at Tortilla Flats and a good night's sleep to get ready for the swim. Got up around 5:30am so we could get to the ferry station before ships away at 6:45; two ferries were used (the "car" one filled with kayaks and the people one that I took) to transport us to Peaks Island for check-in, body marking, time chip getting, and some safety meetings as we waited for the race to start at 9am. Bobby, my yaker, joined many others in paddling over so I met him there.

    This year's event was the largest ever for the Y, with 400 people signed up. In fact, many locals did not make it (I missed my buddies jbs and slknight) due to various reasons and I was on the waiting list because they filled up before the end of March. I got the call to register in May, so I was a bit lonely this year. I did see my inspiration for doing these open water/marathon swims, Pat Gallant-Charette, already swimming off the beach while waiting for the start, so I did not get a chance to say hi. The water was slightly colder than last year, 63-4 degrees, with low tide slated to start with our race, meaning very little assist again this year. The sun was out making for a gorgeous day to swim!

    We had more time on the beach, which was good in respect to having more time to get all checked in, where we discovered that nearly half of the swimmers were newbies. It was a rather long time mulling about though, since I learned the first year not to "warm up" because that is what the swim is for! I was in the first (of 5) wave, and we waded out to the end of the pier as they counted down to our start. I lined up again on the right of the main pack and took off towards the bobbing yakers to meet with Bobby at the prescribed time.

    The swim itself was good. There was as slight current against us as we headed towards our escorts (more than once I ran into a gaggle of yakers due to inexperience, and almost got hit twice - they found and paddled to their swimmers without looking to see what was happening around them), then we basically hit slack tide for the rest of the race. As you get to the midway point, there is generally a bit of swell, so I tried to pick up the pace. Besides some lobster cages, the course was generally free from obstacles, and there was no real current into the beach finish zone, which was well marked by an orange buoy on the left and four or so green buoys on the right. Due to the lack of tide, Bobby took us on a line towards the center of the course, which helped us move past those too far out on our left and catch up to the ones to our right that took too tight of a line. I did one dolphin dive (thanks mmead!) then stood up in knee-high water and took a few steps to reacclimate to the vertical plane. I tried to side step a bit and was going to walk again, but the huge crowd on the beach was cheering so I kept pushing ahead towards the big clock and hospitality tent just up the beach.

    So, of the 335 swimmers that started the event (based on final reults), I was the 32nd to cross the finish line, 5th in my age group, and first overall of the 23 "naked" folks, repeating the feat from last year. My time was 59:09.5, which (also a repeat) was slower than last year , although I did not take a break and felt like I swam faster. For reference, I finished just under 50 minutes in 2011, which proves that the tides can help or hinder in Casco Bay.

    I can't say enough how much I enjoy this event, which has grown considerably over the years (and even since I started taking part in 2010) and still has some minor hiccups due primarily to it's size. The distance is spot on for the OW newbie or seasoned warrior to complete, and there is a real fun vibe throughout as family, friends, and townsfolk cheer on the swimmers and their festively-colored kayaks. It's easy to see why this event is considered one of the top 50 in our country, and why I will register earlier to make it my fifth trip next year to enjoy some more of "the way life should be."

    Some links if you are interested:
    Friday's preview, noting Pat's friend Miyuki Fujita, who came from Japan to swim
    Sunday's review with a picture slideshow
    Some pics I took here and here .
    Full results
    Write-up from Munatones OWS blog
    Local news video
    A neat picture review I found from 2012 - see the waves head out from Peaks

    Updated July 15th, 2013 at 10:25 PM by rxleakem

    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Open Water
  4. Workout 07/10/13: evening

    by , July 10th, 2013 at 11:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Before I forget, I did an easy 1200yds on Monday before work to stretch out my body. I think that I'm about as sore as I was last year following Kingdom.

    Today I helped my father-in-law move in the morning, then had lunch with the family in town at the brew pub. As I was getting ready to head out, the sky opened up (yet again) and it rained hard. I checked the radar and it looked fine for my destination, so I headed off around 3:30. Met with my friend Brent in Williamstown around 4pm, the we drove down to Goose Pond in Lee, MA, for the Wednesday night Berkshire OW swim (my first time this year).

    I swam Goose last year, and loved the swim. Tonight was another great exploration, both in the water and afterwards at the potluck! Brent and I were there first, and then Rick from CT arrived. Rick has really ramped up his OW events over the past year, adding a leg of 8Bridges last month (you can follow him at his blog). The weather was only overcast there, and other folks arrived a bit later. Armed with a couple of swim buoys, we headed out ahead of the group - here is the map of our swim. 1.87 miles in about an hour for us; water temp was 78 at the boat launch and 80 in the middle of the lake.

    We went along the basic course, but farther north to add some distance. One guy was pulling his kid on waterskies, otherwise no other boat traffic on the water, which was a little murky from the recent rain. I did watch plenty of fish dart around below, through the rocks on the bottom of the bowl. We doubled back, but the group had apparently already crossed the lake, so we followed suit. After stopping on the other side for a moment, we heard very faint rumblings of thunder and decided to swim back to our launch point. The blue sky was peaking out, but still cloudy where we were, so it was safe. We finally caught up to some of the group ahead and exited to get dressed and have supper.

    The food was again plentiful, although only 7 (of the 9) stayed to eat. Fresh salads, bbq chicken, watermelon, and cookies were consumed over great conversation. I took a couple of shots here and here.

    After a nice ride back to Williamstown, Brent and I made plans to work out another trip to the Berkshires to join in the great fun. With his encouragement, I will also sign up for the Betsy Owens swim in Lake Placid next month, the USMS 2 mile champs.
    Tags: berkshires
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  5. 07/06/13: Fifth Kingdom Swim (my second)

    by , July 7th, 2013 at 11:10 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After enjoying last year's Kingdom 10 Miler, I decided to sign up again this year and make the trip to the northern reaches of my home state to tackle the mighty Lake Memphremagog. I have some notes/observations that I can refer to from last year:

    First, Lena did not make the trip. She has been having some stomach issues going on and I really don't think she was enthused to witness me plodding along in the water again, so she rested at home. Preston did join me, along with my buddy Bob from Maine and his wife and son. They were in town to visit his folks, and drove up north behind me. We enjoyed some stops along the way (VT Country Store and lunch in Lebanon, NH) and made it to Newport by 4pm. I went to register at the Gateway then took a nap, waking up in time to sit through post-parade traffic to strap my feedbag on for the annual pasta dinner that race director Phil White and the gang put on. The rain that had fallen shortly before supper cleared out, leaving a great view of the lake for all to enjoy.

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    In comparison to last year's swim:
    - Similarly, it was overcast to start the swim. Only saw faint peaks of sunlight after passing Buoy 7, then it shined fully after the 8th. This was excellent (humane) for the yakers and didn't really bother me too much.
    - Water temp was 72 degrees, which was warmer than last year. I put on some weight expecting colder temps, so I lugged some extra lard for this swim.
    - My feeds were not as concentrated, and I did fine with them. Fewer calories did not make a difference for me, which is good to note.
    - The Kayakers deployed in a little different formation, and it took my 15 minutes to find Bobby. Many of them did not line up where they were directed to, so I just kept swimming. No collisions which is always an answer to prayer
    - See last year's post noted above from the course layout. Not much to report until we rounded Buoy 3, where the "po po" boat had blue lights flashing and another boat stopped. Found out later from Bob that the boat was flying south towards the course without hint of slowing down, and had to be intercepted by either the Newport City Police or Boarder Patrol boat. Crazy!
    - Some waves rolled us around as we crossed the northern end of the lake from Buoy 3-4 (just like last year). I was with two other swimmers (last year I was by myself), and we rounded Buoy 5 together, which was interesting.
    - Again this year, we held close to the islands and straight on to Buoy 6, then stayed more in the lake as opposed to Derby Bay, where the current was tossing people. The waves were IMO slightly less rough than last year, but pounded for a longer portion of the long leg from Buoy 6-7. It was tiring!
    - After Buoy 6B, I caught up to someone that passed my by the lighthouse (and also put a lot of distance on the two guys with my at Buoy 5). I passed him, then he drafted off me. I didn't mind at first, but after ten minutes of pulling him I did some backstroke and slowed down, hoping that he would return the favor. Didn't happen. After about a mile of this, I took a scheduled feed and let him go past. He ended up finishing a minute ahead of me.
    - My shoulders felt better prepared for the long swim, but the pounding during the long leg took its toll, as I had a difficult time in the last hour or so keeping good body position.
    - Bob noted the time and my stroke count at the big buoys, and was steady around 58-9 stokes per minute at each point. Last year I cycled between swimming 20-30 fast strokes followed by 50-60 regular ones; this year I just tried to stay even with stokes and kicking throughout.
    - I skipped my last feed at at the bottom of the hour and motored into Prouty Beach with a time of 4hrs, 37 min, 53 sec, which was 46sec slower than last year. I'm pleased based on the conditions.

    Another great weekend, which is just the start of swimming in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It'a always fun to meet up with forumites, and see some folks from last year. I am disappointed that USMS was not the sanctioning body for the swim (although there was an agreement for this last year before the OW stuff went down) as I think more people may have swam in it. Nonetheless, Phil has a great lineup of swimming in beautiful lakes in that bucolic part of Vermont throughout the summer, and I highly recommend joining in the fun if you are able to!

    Updated July 7th, 2013 at 11:48 PM by rxleakem

    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Open Water
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  6. Workout 07/02/13: morning and evening

    by , July 2nd, 2013 at 09:16 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I slept in a bit and made my way over to Hoosick Falls to the outdoor pool. I was able to get 1300yds in 25 minutes of relatively easy swimming as the rain stopped falling. I hopped in near the wall, but the pool (which has a vinyl-type liner over concrete) had a huge bubble, like three feet wide. I was able to move over after about ten minutes, so it was all good. No lanes, ropes, or clocks, just nice swimming.

    After a nice hot, humid day around the house, I went to a leadership meeting with the new church before heading to Masters practice. Actually caught the tail end of the kids summer league swim meet and timed a bit, then got in with 25 minutes left of our practice to do:

    - 100 Fr/100 Bk/200 IM drill

    Repeat x 2:
    -50 EZ
    - 100 Fast
    - 50 EZ
    - 150 Fast
    - 200 EZ

    200 loosen and out
    (Master/Rec/1700 yds/25 min)

    The fast swims were good, and the easy stuff was nice. Still trying to catch up on sleep. Only need to work tomorrow, then off Thursday for the holiday so that should be easy to accomplish.
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 07/01/13: morning

    by , July 1st, 2013 at 08:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill
    100 kick
    4 x 50 Quarter's Strong on :45
    100 kick

    50 EZ and out
    (Solo/Rec/1050 yds/20 min)

    Sometimes, it is what it is. Needed to get into the water today before work to make sure I still remembered how to.

    Extra hours at work on Thursday and today are throwing off my routine a bit, but I am flexible (although I have a hard time touching my toes). I'd like to get out to Hoosick Falls tomorrow to the outdoor pool then Masters tomorrow night. Kingdom Swim on Saturday!
    Swim Workouts
  8. Workout 06/26/13: noon

    by , June 26th, 2013 at 09:52 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Happy to get into the water today, even though I am a little stiff. I was going to get up for a morning swim, but turned off my alarm and slept in. That was nice.

    So, I found a workout whilst searching the intertubes as I embarked on open water swimming a few years ago, and find myself coming back to it at various times of the year as an end-of-taper challenge. I pulled it from a post by Nick White at this webiste, which has some good tips on the first page and the workout on the second. I did the main set below:

    400 Fr with snorkel/200 Bk/200 IM drill

    Power-interval set: 8 x 200 on 2:45
    - 1-4 pull with Agility paddles
    - 5-8 swim focusing on high elbows and catch

    Sprint-interval set: 9 x 100 on 1:30 (rotating a 50-yard sprint through the set)
    - 1: 50 sprint, 50 race pace
    - 2: 25 race pace, 50 sprint, 25 race pace
    - 3: 50 race pace, 50 sprint
    Repeat twice

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/3500 yds/55 min)

    Another good kick in the hind-quarters with this workout! I was coming in around 2:30 on the first 4 200's, then about 7 seconds slower on the last four. I took a good Masters Minutes between the Power and Sprint set, and plugged along. By round, I held 1:10, 1:12, 1:15, getting really tired on the last round but I stuck with it.

    My day off tomorrow has been replaced with 12 hour shift and an hour drive north (then home) to cover a neighboring store that had a pharmacist quit, so I will be able to get back into the water Friday morning. I'll look forward to that!
    Tags: surge-power
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 06/24/13: morning

    by , June 24th, 2013 at 09:26 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I had a nice ride Saturday on the motorcycle with my buddy Rick before heading to the annual Relay for Life here in my county. I have gone every years since it started, 1996, sometimes on a team but mostly just to go and walk some laps for my mom, Lena's grandfathers, and other friends and family. When this weekend comes around, rain usually accompanies the festivities but we this was the odd year that the temperatures were warm and the track stayed dry.

    Yesterday I was able to also enjoy a ride on the motorcycle with Lena, heading to her cousin's high school graduation over in Rock City Falls, NY, a little town just west of Saratoga. Round trip three hours on the bike, baking in the sun! Still a fun time despite mild dehydration.

    Hopped in this morning to stretch out:

    200 Fr/200 Bk warmup

    Kick/Swim/Pull (board/agility paddles/buoy)
    050 100 500 with snorkel
    100 150 400 with snorkel
    150 200 300

    4 x 75 on 1:15
    - kick/swim IMO/pull

    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2750 yds/50 min)

    Back into the drink on Wednesday for me
    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 06/22/13: morning

    by , June 22nd, 2013 at 12:42 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 Swim/200 Kick/100 Pull/100 IM drill

    4 x 250 as:
    - 25 50 75 100
    - 25 50 100 75
    - 25 100 50 75
    - 100 25 50 75
    25's FAST on 0:30 0:40 0:40
    50's 90% on 0:50 1:00 1:10
    75's 85% on 1:10 1:20 1:30
    100's Fast on 1:30 1:40 2:00
    (Pick an interval - I did the first interval)

    200 ez

    8 x 75 on 1:45 (kick/swim/pull)
    8 x 25 on :40 burst and cruise
    1 x 200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2800 yds/65 min)

    Had a great evening yesterday at my brother's house, visiting with my uncle and cousin out from California. Complete with ice cream cake! Got up this morning and joined GregJS and Meg at the pool for a good workout. I generally have the main sets vary either in distance or, in as in today's case, time intervals. Off to get in a motorcycle ride in this afternoon, then a few laps at the Relay for Life tonight with the family.
    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 06/21/13: noon

    by , June 21st, 2013 at 01:44 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    100 Fr/100 Bk

    10 x 100 on 1:30
    - odds Fr with some kicking
    - evens stroke

    Build a 200 IM on 2:50
    - did the IM as drill

    3 x
    - 4 x 50 Quarters Strong on :45
    - 100 kick on 3:00

    300 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/3400 yds/60 min)

    Nice finish to the day, swimming at least. My uncle Paul and cousin Kevin are visiting from California, so we are going to a cookout at my brother's house tonight. Time to relax a bit on a beautiful day off!
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 06/21/13: morning

    by , June 21st, 2013 at 09:41 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill/7 x 50 on :50 Burst+cruise/1 x 50 EZ

    Kick/Swim/Pull (board/Agility/Buoy)
    050 100 200 with snorkel
    100 150 300 with snorkel
    150 200 400 with snorkel
    200 250 500

    300 Loosen with and out
    (Solo/Rec/3900 yds/65 min)

    I skipped swimming on Wednesday morning before work because I was just too tired and don't want to repeat last year's performance of a nasty head cold heading into summer. Work continues to be busy, but still less stressful as our student is with us full time, so I am enjoying the "break" for now. It won't last long because the store in Rutland (about an hour north) had someone quit on Tuesday after not showing up for their shift. I'll be picking up a day a week there to help out until they get a replacement in.

    I slept in an extra half hour this morning and felt really good in the water. Not too many other swimmers so I didn't have to circle swim at all, which is a great treat. Planning to get back in at lunchtime.
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 06/18/13: evening

    by , June 18th, 2013 at 09:12 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull with buoy/100 IM drill

    8 x 25 various as a group

    Broken Mile:
    3 x 100 on 1:20
    4 x 150 on 2:00
    3 x 200 on 2:40
    3 x 50 on :40

    100 kick, 100 IM drill, 100 pull w/ buoy
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/3050 yds/60 min)

    Great practice tonight, taken from an old HVT workout. I realized after writing it that it was on BASE + 10 but we did it on Base. Oh well, a nice kick in the pants to end the evening! Light attendance with only me, Tim, and Carol. Now for some supper than some
    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 06/18/13: noon

    by , June 18th, 2013 at 01:40 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I decided to sleep in a tad and forego practice this morning, hitting up the adult swim at noon instead.

    400 Fr w/ snorkel/200 Bk/200 IM Drill
    1 x 1000 Pull with buoy and agility paddles
    1 x 100 loosen
    1 x 1000 (50 kick/50 pull w/ buoy/50 agility paddles/50 swim; repeat)
    1 x 100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/3000 yds/50 min)

    Ran some errands this morning after a Rx Task Force meeting, then got in before lunch. It was crowded, six total at one point, so I plugged along. Will get to Masters tonight.
    Swim Workouts
  15. Workout 06/17/13: evening

    by , June 17th, 2013 at 09:09 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Well, Emma is home. The van ended up giving my wife some problems, leading to a rental for half of the trip and me driving down to Exit 17 of the NYS Thruway after work on Friday to swap vehicles. Ended up getting home around 2am, then worked Saturday. Then I was treated to a nice supper after work for Father's Day. Hopped in tonight for a swim:

    4 x 1000 with a Master's Minute between:
    - 200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM Drill/4x50 B/c on 1:00/200 Kick
    - 500 Noah's Ark pull with snorkel/5 x 100 on 1:30 w/ agility paddles
    - 250 pull/100 kick/150 agility paddles/5 x 100 IM on 1:50
    - 4 x 125 (75 DPS, 50 IMO) on 1:55/5 x (50 kick/25 skull/25 dill)
    Solo/Rec/4000 yds/72 min)

    Good to get back into the water after a long weekend off. Feel like I have caught up on sleep a bit and will plan to double tomorrow and Friday with additional swims on Wednesday before work and with the team on Saturday. Watching The Hobbit now; well, maybe just half of it tonight!
    Swim Workouts
  16. Workout 06/13/13: evening

    by , June 13th, 2013 at 10:18 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Woke up early to head to over near Albany, NY, to our corporate main office for a staff pharmacists meeting. In the past, only the pharmacy managers have gone to this type of event, but they are finding out that not all of the info is being passed down the pipeline so we will now be getting invited ahead of their meeting. Interesting stuff, especially about the business stuff related to the whole chain, and I think I got more out of it than the nice lunch and mileage. (I was going to ride the motorcycle, but it was raining by the time I left home and was forecasted to continue all day - I'd have take just the wet ride home but was not up for a drenching in both directions. It's fun to get paid to ride, but not today.)

    Got home in time to hit up the lap/family swim, where GregJS and Tim were working hard. I did:

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill

    1 x 400 on ? (snorkel and agility paddles)
    4 x 100 on 1:35 (snorkel: 50 kick, 50 fast)
    2 x 200 on 2:50 (snorkel and pull with buoy; fast middle 100)
    16 x 25 on :30 (1 ez, 1 AFAP + 1 ez, 2 AFAP + 1 ez, 3+1, 4+1, then 1 ez)

    200 Dolphin Dives in Deep with agility paddles
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2500 yds/45 min)

    Feeling good after the long swim yesterday, and I am just under 15,000 yds for the week. Might try to sneak in another swim tomorrow morning, or hit a lake this weekend. One more heavy week of training before cutting back - I'm a tad beat up and will use two weeks to recover before Kingdom. Need to look at my blogs from last year to see what I did - love that perk from blogging!

    On the homefront, Emma finishes exams tomorrow and will be coming home! I have to work, so Lena and Preston will be driving my van (aka "Phantom" or "death trap") down in the morning, packing her up, and coming home tomorrow night. I gassed it up, checked the tires, (had it serviced a few weeks ago) put on new wipers and set the GPS up so that there should be no major issues. It has 216k+ miles and has a knack for mysteriously wiping the windshield (on it's own) and I gave it a fancy paint job by hand (due to various rust spots that I repaired), hence either of the two nicknames

    So, I'll be saying some prayers throughout my day at work then there will be a small tomorrow night!
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 06/12/13: OW (first of year)

    by , June 12th, 2013 at 10:22 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I arranged to meet up with GregJS for another dip into the Harriman Reservoir over in Wilmington for a longer open water swim to gear up for the upcoming open water season. The weather forecast was not all that spectacular, which made the idea of swimming more appealing in order to get some exposure to less than ideal conditions. Picked up Greg with his kayak and we dropped-in at a different spot than our two swims last year.

    The tributary leading into the body of water was indeed roaring from all of the rain as of late. The water was easily eight feet higher than last summer, and the dock was a tad submerged as you can see in picture below. Air temp was ~60, water at 62, with a light drizzle falling from the overcast sky. Due to the conditions, my plan for a 2.5-3 hour swim was changed to "let's swim to the first bend and see how it goes."

    The water was chilly, and it took a few hundred yards or so to get my head into the water comfortably. We swam for about 15 minutes before the sun poked out, and it would shine for a bit but then hide again for the duration of the swim. The wind also picked up a bit on that original leg of the swim, with whitecaps forming above the 8-12 inch swells. We ended up getting a tad lower in the reservoir than the last swim, circling around the small island before turning back. One lone motor boat out on the water today, and we only caught a short glimpse of it well away from us.

    I adjusted my feeds a bit. Took water at 30 min, then electrolyte mix on the top of the hour and maltodextrin feed on the bottom, but both at a lesser concentration and caloric count. Worked out well, and I also tried a powerade fruit packet thingy at 1:45 that settled in my stomach well.

    The last 30 minutes was a beast! Mind you, it took us ~15 min to swim down the same distance from the dock, but it took over 30 to get back. The water was rolling and I felt a bit like I was in one of those Endless Pools - pretty epic! Did get to alter my stroke a bit to see how it affected my progress, which was slow. Finally got to the dock and I was able to sample some warm tea that Greg brought along. I think he took the worst of that last stretch as the wind picked up (as the rain did as well) with the chop drenching him pretty well, while I was already wet and protected a bit from the wind.

    The track of the swim is here and documents the 3.76 mile (6k) swim completed in a tad over 2 hours. Only odd occurrence was a cramping of my left pinky toe. Another hearty thanks to Greg for braving the weather with me.
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  18. Workouts 06/10/13: morning and noon

    by , June 10th, 2013 at 01:44 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Great weekend, complete with two motorcycle rides totaling ~215 miles.

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill

    Kick Swim Pull
    050 100 150
    100 150 300
    150 200 450
    (With snorkel: kick w/ board, swim w/ Agility Paddles, pull w/ buoy)

    50 EZ and out
    (Solo/Rec/2300 yds/45 min)
    - Nice stretch-out swim after all that riding!

    100 Fr/100 Bk/100 IM drill

    8 x 125
    - 1-4 = kick last 25 on 2:00
    - 6-8 = FAST 50 shufflelast -> first on 1:45

    1 x 1000
    - Did build a 200 IM set continuous

    10 x 100 ~ :15sr
    - 1-5 = 50 hard kick into 50 DPS Fr
    - 6-9= 50 hard kick into 50 IMO
    - 10 = IM for time (1:09)

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/3500 yds/60 min)

    Working in some longer set with varying rest. Didn't really push the stroke part of the 1000. Did some between sets.

    Now off to work for the rest of the night and all day tomorrow. Planning on my first OW swim of the season Wednesday with GregJS - gunning for close to 10k, but we'll see how slow I go
    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 06/08/13: morning

    by , June 8th, 2013 at 12:35 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 Fr with snorkel/200 kick
    16 x 25 drills

    200 OWSwim counterclockwise
    4 x 100 Quarter's Strong with snorkel plus 100 kick
    200 OWSwim clockwise
    4 x 50 Burst and Crusie
    200 OWSwim counterclockwise
    4 x 25 AFAP on 1:00
    100 EZ and out
    (Masters/Rec/2300 yds/90 min)

    Feel ok after yesterday's long swim, as I would expect to feel. Since it was rainy and cool, I just farted around the house and watched some old episodes of Balleykissangel (a BBC series that I haven't watched in a long time). Lena and I went to the graduation for Preston's school and stayed late to send off the exchange students that we have come to know well. Great night!

    This morning before practice I met up with the guys in Monday night Bible study for breakfast at a diner over in Hoosick, NY. Great to get together and catch up, although we do a lot of that at our meetings regularly! I didn't eat a ton (well, less than half of what I used to eat) and was able to make it to Masters practice and swim with the group.

    We worked on stroke drills for Fr, Bk, and Br, swimming the whole practice without lane lines. As we were finishing, Marie and a friend (Mary?) hopped in and did their own thing in lane six. We took turns leading the 200 "OW" swim and worked on in water turns like we can expect at buoys in a race. Also mixed in some good efforts between these.

    Plan for the rest of the weekend is to take it easy. Meet with friends of the family for a surprise 70th birthday party, a motorcycle ride this afternoon with the guys and help my MIL move to a new apartment. More relaxing tomorrow with the chance of another motorcycle ride.

    Updated June 8th, 2013 at 10:41 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 06/07/13: noon

    by , June 7th, 2013 at 02:26 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill
    - 1 x 3000 (~45 min)
    - 5 x 100 (alt kick/EZ IM)
    - 4 x 75 on 1:13 (K/S/P)
    - 100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/4,500 yds/80 min)

    I was able to sneak into the pool before work on Wednesday for 1,450 yds, nothing grand. We have had two busy days at work made much more relaxed due to our pharmacy student returning, which I am thankful for. I was going to travel to Americade today in Lake George, but my buddy ended up not being able to make the trip and I do not feeling like riding on the motorcycle in the rain.

    Today was distance swim day. I string together the Noah's Ark in order to keep track of distance, and mixed in some pulling, agility paddles, snorkel and kicking throughout. Shoulders feel fine but will be doing some extra foam rolling for good measure. The school that Preston goes to has graduation tonight, so I will be there to support the kids then I am planning for a good swim with the Masters group tomorrow morning.

    In other news, the group from Great Barrington Mass has posted their Open Water swim schedule for the summer - every Wednesday evening and some weekend swims in the lakes throughout the Berkshires. Not sure how many I'll make this year, but it is always a great time!
    Swim Workouts