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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 09/12/17: evening

    by , September 12th, 2017 at 09:40 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The Rec Center has reopened after a two week closure for cleaning. Masters tonight with the Noah, Greg, and Jim:

    - 200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    - 4 x 50 on 1:10 burst and cruise
    - 100 choice

    4 x 125 on 2:10 (fast last 25)
    1 x 300 DPS
    4 x 75 on 1:40 (descend 1->4)
    1 x 200 kick/pull by 50

    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2300 yds/60 min]

    My work schedule is still not conducive to swimming, but I plan to make the commitment to swim with the group every Tuesday evening. We'll see how long this goes...

    Updated September 22nd, 2017 at 09:55 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 08/10/17: OW

    by , August 10th, 2017 at 09:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Today is my daughter's 23rd birthday - an exciting day!

    We visited one of the nearby state parks this afternoon and I took along my goggles. Before a little relaxation on the beach and catching up on a book that I have been (trying to find the time to) reading I was able to get in a 0.86 mile swim in just under 18 minutes, dodging the weeds and observing the fish along the way.

    A great day!
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  3. Workout 08/05/17: morning

    by , August 5th, 2017 at 01:12 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull +50 extra
    4 x 50 on 1:00 even pace

    4 x 100 on 2:10 (descend: I did 150's)
    4 x 25 on :45 build
    3 x 150 on 3:00 (fast 2nd 50, I did 200's)
    4 x 25 on :45 burst and cruise
    2 x 200 on 3:30 (long and strong pull, I did 250's)
    4 x 25 fast
    150 kick-swim-pull by 50
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/3100 yds/65 min]

    It was raining outside so we had a full pool. I split with Eric and Tim, Jim and Rebecca split with Blaine (visiting from DC), while Meg, Pipper, and Beth split the far lane. Off to a bluegrass concert later this evening.
    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 07/29/17: morning

    by , July 29th, 2017 at 09:13 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Nice swim with the Masters group this morning.

    6 x 100 on :20sr (s-k-p)
    6 x 75 on :20sr (fast middle 25 - did 1:15 interval)
    6 x 50 on :20sr (kick-swim, swim-kick)
    6 x 25 on :10sr (choice - 80% effort)
    1 x 300 pull (breathe only to the windows)
    1 x 200 (k-p by 50)
    10 x 25 on :45 (odds choice, evens fast free)
    100 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2700 yds/65 min]
    Added an extra 350 over the duration of the set.
    Swim Workouts
  5. Workout 07/20/17: morning

    by , July 20th, 2017 at 09:27 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    A quick swim this am - the pool was surprisingly empty!

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    3x300 mix of kick/swim/pull
    200 loosen and out
    [Solo/Rec/1700 yds/31 min]
    Swim Workouts
  6. 07/18/17: Evening

    by , July 18th, 2017 at 09:21 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a fun swim tonight, especially as my wife joined in for the first half.

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4x50 burst and cruise
    100 non free
    4×100 1:50
    3×200 on 3:30
    3x100 on 1:45
    4x75 on 1:30
    4×25 on :40
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2800 yds/60 min]
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 07/08/17: morning

    by , July 8th, 2017 at 12:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/300 pull
    4 x 50 on 1:00 even pace
    100 non free swim

    6x75 on 1:40 (did k/s/p)
    400 pull (breathe 3/5/4/3 by 100)
    100 kick (25 ez-25 fast)
    5 x 50 on 1:00 (quarter's strong, last on easy)

    6 x 25 fast (as a group in middle lane - OW start experience)
    100 kick
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2500 yds/1 hr]

    A big crowd today with Matt and Eric splitting with me, Tim and Greg, and Rebecca and Meg. Sarah was on her own. The 25's were a blast!
    Swim Workouts
  8. Workout 06/20/17: evening

    by , June 20th, 2017 at 07:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 free/200 back/200 im drill

    3 x 300:
    1: FR - 50 kick 150 pull 100 AP with snorkel
    2: FR -150 kick 100 pull 50 AP with snorkel
    3: BK - 100 kick 50 pull 150 AP

    5×100 FR on 1:30 even pace

    200 loosen and out.
    [Solo/Rec/2200 yds/40 min]

    Summer pool schedule is in effect and I found out that Masters picked up an extra 30 minutes on our Tuesday night swims. Matt and a friend were there doing their own thing so I did the above on my own. Still struggling to find the time to make it to the pool on a consistent basis with lots of family/work engagements. I did make another trip to PA over the week with my son, meeting my aunt for a ballgame in Allentown (Phillies triple-A team the Iron Pigs), exploring the Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, and then visiting the cemetery where my grandmother is buried as well as another where her mom is buried. Learning more of my mother's side of the family.
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 06/03/17: morning

    by , June 3rd, 2017 at 01:44 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    4 x 75 on 1:30 breathe 3/5/3
    4 x 100 on 2:10 descend 1->4 [backstroke]
    4 x 150 on 2:45 first recovery, switch fast 50 last to first on 2->4
    4 x 50 vertical kick into 50 swim

    100 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2200 yds/55 min]
    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 05/30/17: evening

    by , May 30th, 2017 at 09:57 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 50 quarter's strong on 1:05

    6 x 50 on 1:00 - descend 1->3, 4->6
    1 x 300 pull
    8 x 50 on 1:00 - descend in pairs
    1 x 400 pull

    4 x 50 active recovery
    [Masters/Rec/2300 yds/55 min]
    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 05/27/17: morning

    by , May 27th, 2017 at 09:59 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 50 quarter's strong on 1:05
    4 x 50 drill

    3 x
    - 200 swim on 3:30
    - 100 pull on 2:00
    - 50 kick

    1 x 50 no free
    4 x 50 short pool - streamline focus
    2 x 150 snake swim
    [Masters/Rec/2500 yds/65 min]
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 05/23/17: evening

    by , May 23rd, 2017 at 09:17 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim-100 kick-200 pull
    4 x 50 quarter's strong on 1:10

    5 x 50 pull on 1:00 (even pace)
    3 x 200 on 3:30 (rotating fast 100 last to first)
    5 x 50 even pace on 1:00
    100 non free
    4 x 75 kick-swim-pull on 1:45 as warmdown
    [Masters/Rec/2200 yds/55 min]

    Finally back in the pool. Good swim with Tim, Greg, and Carol.
    Swim Workouts
  13. Meet: 04/22/17: CYEDC MastersMania (Philly)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  14. Workout 4/11/17: evening

    by , April 11th, 2017 at 09:47 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    300 swim/100 kick/4 x 50 pull/2 x 25 fast/100 easy

    Sweedish 1:01 (jbs's 50 set - started at :10, I barely made :28 and missed 29)

    300 as 50 kick, 50 pull (with snorkel - I did 400)

    3 x 50 even pace on 1:00

    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2400 yds/60 min]

    Good swim with Greg, Jim, and Carol. Trying to get into the water more but my work schedule seems to be getting in the way. I was able to get the motorcycle out yesterday and enjoyed the beautiful weather here in VT with my wife:

    (notice the USMS sticker on the windshield ?)
    Swim Workouts
  15. Workout 04/08/17: morning

    by , April 8th, 2017 at 10:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I've been out of the water for the past week due to work but I was able to get into today with the team.

    200 free/100/kick/200 pull
    4 x 25 Burst and Cruise

    4 x 75 on 1:45 (kick/swim/pull)
    2 x 150 on 3:00 - build by 50 [did 200's]
    1 x 300 pull - focus on technique
    6 x 50 on 1:00 - descend in pairs
    12 x 25 on :30 - odds ez/evens fast - took 30sec after first 6

    2 x 50 relays as team
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2500 yds/65 min]

    We had a good group with Tim, Matt, Libby, Kevin, Mary, and Greg. My lower back has been tight so it was nice to get into the water and stretch out a bit. Out of the pool I am working to reduce clutter in the house, and getting ready for some heat arriving here in New England over the next few days.
    Swim Workouts
  16. 03/25/17: 6th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet

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

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

    While the planning and pulling off the meet is a bit stressful, I am consistently amazed by the diverse of swimmers that come out to compete, many for the first time. The environment of a Masters meet is so different from that of an age group or high school meet. It gives me a lot satisfaction to be able to host this meet every year, and I am thankful for the support that we get from the local age group team to run the event.
  17. Workout 03/18/17: morning

    by , March 18th, 2017 at 02:20 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My son has been home for the week for spring break, which has been a nice treat. Practice was canceled on Tuesday due to the Blizzard of 2017, but I was able to get in about 6 hours of drylands with snow removal! Here is picture looking out my front door on Tuesday, we ended up getting about 6 more inches for a total of 19 for the storm. (Good thing he was home to help with shoveling!)

    Swam this morning with the team, including Eric, Matt, Libby, Rebecca, Mary, and Kevin.

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 50 quarters strong

    2 x
    50 dps on 1
    25 fast into 25 easy into
    50 kick into 50 pull

    6 x 50 from blocks - burst and cruise
    50 easy
    8 x 50 ... 25 fast then 25 ez
    3 x 50 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2000 yds/60 min]
    Good workout, and it looks like many are planning to swim next Saturday at our meet here in town. Not sure what I'll be swimming, but my older brother and twin sister plan to come in for their annual meet and relays with me...we just need to find a fourth person to join us.
    Swim Workouts
  18. Workout 03/11/17: morning

    by , March 11th, 2017 at 12:42 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Continued our transition to some speed work as well as race-specific preparation. Our 6th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet will take place in two weeks, Saturday, March 25th. I serve as meet director and we welcome swimmers from western New England, upstate NY, and even NJ to the southwestern corner of Vermont for a fun day of competition. If you are in the area stop by, as we have arts, restaurants, and history to explore after the meet is over!

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull

    4 x
    - 50 DPS on 1:00
    - 150 Pull on 2:45

    2 x
    - 50 DPS
    - 75 DPS and 25 Fast

    50 ez

    4 x 25 burst and cruise - race start instructions and practice
    1 x 50 ez
    4 x 25 burst and cruise - working on relay starts
    100 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2100 yds/65 min]

    Updated March 12th, 2017 at 10:22 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 03/04/17: morning

    by , March 4th, 2017 at 05:37 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    In with the team this morning.

    200 free/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 100 pull on 2:10 (used blue paddles and snorkel)
    4 x 75 k/s/p on 2:45 (just kicked snorkel and AK)

    Fort speed set that I like to use...
    1 x 25 Fast ... 1 x 50 ez
    1 x 50 Fast ... 2 x 50 ez
    1 x 75 Fast ... 3 x 50 ez
    1 x 100 Fast ... 4 x 50 ez

    I worked with team on turns/streamline as they did 5x50 free
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2150 yds/60 min]
    Good turnout with Eric, Noah, Melissa, Libby, Rebecca, Mary, and Kevin. Trying to remind the body that fast-twitch muscles exist. Also worked on pacing with the 100.
    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 02/28/17: evening

    by , February 28th, 2017 at 09:29 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    2 x [150 swim/50 kick/100 pull]
    6 x 50 on 1:00 even pace

    3 x
    - 25 easy/25 build/50 DPS
    - 25 FAST/75 DPS
    - 75 ez/25 FAST

    8 x 25 on :40 (odds easy, evens fast)

    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2200 yds/50 min]

    Good swim tonight, my first time with the team is quite a while. Eric, Tim and Carol were there as well as newish swimmers Noah and Devin. I have scheduled our local mini meet for the last Saturday in March here in southwestern VT, so the plan is to transition to some quality efforts and fast swimming.
    Swim Workouts
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