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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 10/15/16: morning

    by , October 15th, 2016 at 08:21 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Good practice this morning with all the lanes full:

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [did another 100 kick]
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    8 x 100 on :20sr Quarter's Strong [went on 1:30, plus extra 50]
    4 x 25 kick as group
    4 x 100 on :30sr rotate fast 50 [went on 1:40, plus extra 50]
    4 x 50 pull
    8 x 25 on :40 (odds = choice, evens = fast)

    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2700 yds/70 min]
    Swam with Greg, Tim, Kevin, Heather (home from college), Rebecca, and Mary. Lots of speed play today.
    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 10/11/16: Evening

    by , October 11th, 2016 at 09:55 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The age groupers have restarted for the season, so there is a renewed energy at the Rec. Here's our workout this evening:

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [did an extra 50 kick]
    4 x 25 Burst and Cruise on :45
    2 x
    - 150 swim on 3:15 [did 200's - free and back]
    - 100 free on 2:30 [did 150's]
    - 4 x 50 Quarter's Strong on 1:15

    3 x 50 kick on 1:30
    4 x 50 pull on 1:00
    2 x 50 non free on 1:00
    4 x 50 pull on 1:00

    3 x 50 active recovery
    [Masters/Rec/2550 yds/60 min]
    Quiet today with only Greg and Eric joining me in the pool. I pushed the 200s and 150s due to extra rest and it felt good.

    Today my wife and I drove around the area to take in the moderately-peaked foliage...lot's of vibrant colors emerging. Here is a shot from an OW area we frequent about 30minutes east of home:

    Swim Workouts
  3. Workout 10/08/16: morning

    by , October 8th, 2016 at 07:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Good swim this morning with the group:

    4 x 100 swim on :20sr [did 5]
    1 x 100 kick on :20sr [used snorkel]
    4 x 50 pull on :20sr
    4 x 50 burst and cruise on 1:15
    8 x 75 on :20sr - swim/kick/pull [went on 1:20 interval]
    4 x 150 on :20sr - 50 non-free, 100 even pace FR [went on 2:20 interval]
    2 x (Vertical kick x :30, into 50 free at 80%)
    2 x (Wall kick [like Tom explained earlier this week] x :20, into 50 free at 80%)
    100 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2500 yds/70 min]

    Swam with Matt, Greg, Kevin, and Rebecca.

    Here is a picture that I took in town two days ago...almost at peak fall foliage here in SW Vermont:

    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 10/04/16: evening

    by , October 4th, 2016 at 09:33 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Back in the water, just not as much as I would like to be. We did visit my daughter a couple of weeks ago in Philly and my son in Cleveland this past weekend. Both fun times with not a lot of planned activities, which led to our kids giving us unique tours of their area.

    Tonight at Masters:
    300 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 50 even pace on 1:10
    1 x 100 on 2:00
    4 x 25 on :45 fast
    1 x 200 on 3:30
    4 x 25 on :45 pull
    1 x 300 on 4:30
    4 x 25 on :45 kick
    1 x 400 on 6:30
    4 x 25 on :45 fast
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2400 yds/60 min]
    Swam with Beth, Greg, Jim, and Matt. Always a treat to have the team atmosphere as we work out together. Hope to get in with everyone again on Saturday.
    Swim Workouts
  5. Workout 09/24/16: morning

    by , September 24th, 2016 at 08:35 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My schedule has been turned upside as of late, so pool time has not been a priority. With nicer weather, I have been able to prep the rest of the house for painting, since I put that off for the entire summer. Met up with Masters today (although I was late getting there):

    (missed warm-ups)
    2 x 150 pull, build by 50 [used buoy and snorkel]
    6 x 50 on 1:10 [pairs, DPS then fast: did free, back, fly]
    300 swim even pace - look at 150 time and replicate it [was 2 sec slower]
    4 x 75 on :10sr [kick - swim - pull]
    12 x 25 on :35 [let together in the middle lane]
    100 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/1600 yds/45 min]

    We had a good group today. Matt, Kevin, Greg and Aaron did the workout, and Mary and another lady were on their own. First time that I have met Aaron and Mary; they are both excited to be swimming with out group.
    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 09/10/16: morning

    by , September 10th, 2016 at 08:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Splashed with the Masters this morning...

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull
    8 x 25 drill - freestyle technique
    4 x 100 back on 1:40 even split (1:25)
    200 pull (focus on rotations: marble just about suit line)
    16 x 25 on :40
    - 1-4: free: -1 stroke count [12-11-10-10]
    - 5-8: choice down, free back
    - 9-11: easy down, fast back
    - 12-16: burst and cruise, easy back

    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2000 yds/50 min]

    Swam with Greg, Meg and Rebecca, skipping a set or two. Another lady was there on her own. Just like the end of last summer, I am scarping and preparing the last side of the house and the front of the garage for painting. Good drylands

    Updated September 10th, 2016 at 09:02 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 09/06/16: evening

    by , September 6th, 2016 at 09:19 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I've had a bit of a wirlwind summer and did zero swimming. In addition to some extra hours at work, I spent the majority of my time with the family. My son is off to college at Cleveland State as of a week ago, so tonight I decided to hit the pool (which just opened up after a two week shutdown).

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    8 x 50 on 1:00 (even pace 1-4, descend 5-8 - did backstroke)
    4 x 100 on 1:45 (even pace)
    4 x 75 on 1:30 (kick/drill/back)
    100 loosen and out.
    [Masters/Rec/1700 yds/35 min]

    There was more, but I didn't want to shock my system too much! It was fun watching the nationals livestream and James and Tom posting on facebook about their adventures.
    Swim Workouts
  8. Workout 06/14/16: evening

    by , June 14th, 2016 at 09:10 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Last week was a bit of a whirlwind with Preston's graduation, a few family parties, my daughter home for a visit, and a quick trip to Americade with my friends. My son was the recipient of a scholarship from the local library and was really digging the final chapter of his high school career. Today Lena and I went on a beautiful motorcycle ride, north to Manchester, VT, to the Vermont Country Store [pwb - this would be a great stop for you and the family if you are in the southern part of the state] then south on winding Rt 100 to Wilmington and then back home.

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    300 pull [every 3rd lap fast]

    - 25 easy, 25 build, 50 DPS
    - 25 Stroke, 75 dps
    - 75 dps, 25 fast stroke
    [:05 sec going across, :15 sec rest between lines, masters minute between rounds]

    4 x 25 @90% on :50 [did IMO]
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2000 yds/45 min]
    I swam with Matt and Tim was on his own. This is one of my taper workouts...Tim is doing a "homegrown" half Ironman DIY this Sunday and was looking for a change of pace. Good swim. We're off to Cleveland for orientation this weekend, leaving Friday morning and returning Sunday. I will have my suit, but the masters team that meets at my son's college has an 11am practice on Sunday. With a solid 500 miles/8 hour drive (without a stop for supper), I know that I will not be able to make that time.

    Oh, my son just noticed that this is blog post #700. Not too shabby!
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 06/07/16: evening

    by , June 7th, 2016 at 09:28 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Still quiet around the pool for me. My son is done with classes and has awards night tomorrow with graduation on Friday, then a family party on Saturday. I plan to meet up with my buddy Rick and head to Americade for the day. Hit the pool tonight...

    200 free/200 kick (snorkel)/200 pull (snorkel)
    4 x 50 burst and cruise on :60 (snorkel)

    1 x 150 pull on 2:30
    2 x 75 on 1:30 (did back, channeling my inner That Guy with 9 spl)
    6 x 25 on :40 (odds SDK'd, evens fast free)

    3 x 50 active recovery
    (Masters/Rec/2300 yds/55 min)
    Just Carol and I in the pool tonight. Melissa and Rachel did a half-IM in CT this weekend and Jim did a sprint in Cooperstown. I will not be able to swim at Baystate this year due to work, but I am keep my eye on the annual outdoor LCM meet at the Jenny Thompson pool in NH later in July.
    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 05/31/16: evening

    by , May 31st, 2016 at 09:34 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Good swim tonight at Masters. The water was measured at 81.3 degrees - I think it was a little warmer, but a nice change from 84-5.

    1 x 300 swim
    2 x 150 on :10sr (50 swim/50 kick/50 swim - with snorkel)
    3 x 100 on :10sr (pull - snorkel and buoy - I did total of 5)

    9 x "25's" - streamline deep width of pool, swim to shallow, streamline shallow width, swim to deep)

    2 x
    - 75 on :10sr (50 free, 25 non-free [kicked])
    - 25 easy
    - 50 IM drill

    4 x 50 even pace on 1:05 [held 35's]
    100 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2500 yds/60 min)
    I swam with Greg and Tim tonight while Nicole was on her own. She didn't want to work on streamlines with us so we had the added challenge of not running to her - no collisions !

    Here is a picture I took over the weekend as my wife and I enjoyed a motorcycle ride. We pulled off the road near a river for a snack, and arrived home before a thunderstorm rolled in.

    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 05/24/16: evening

    by , May 24th, 2016 at 09:33 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I had a great time in Boston with my son on Saturday. We were able to meet up with aunt for lunch at a place where they had never eaten and I did once fifteen years ago...

    We then walked to Fenway and watched the Red Sox come away with a great win. Yesterday my father-in-law came over to help me with some foundation work on an addition we put on the house a few years ago, and then my wife and I put in our garden and finished up some odd landscaping projects.

    Made it to Masters tonight:
    200 swim/150 kick/200 pull/200 im drill
    9 x 50 on 1:10 (breathe right, breathe left, b/c by 50) plus 50
    4 x 100 descend, rest :20, :15, :10 (1:11, :10, :08, :06) plus 50
    4 x vertical kick into 50 at 80%
    6 x 75 on :10sr (kick, swim, pull) with snorkel
    200 snake swim as warm down
    (Masters/Rec/2550 yd/60 min)
    Good swim with Tim, Carol, and Julie. The 100 descend was tough, and we focused on translating the vertical kick into our horizontal swim.
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 05/17/16: evening

    by , May 17th, 2016 at 10:33 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Stayed dry last week. This might be my only swim this week. Yardwork, bicycling around town, walks with my wife, and some gym sessions with mom son have kept me moving. I've had the motorcycle out as well.

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull/50 easy
    4 x 50 Quarter's Strong

    3 x [1st and 3rd round FR with snorkel, 2nd round back]
    - 50 kick (AK) into
    - 200 swim into
    - 50 pull with buoy
    - into 50 kick , then mini-masters minute

    8 x 50 on :20, filming with GoPro
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters//Rec/2500 yds/60 min)
    Had a good group tonight. Tim, MG, Carol, Julie, and a first-time visit from a college guy, Noah. It felt really good to get a swim in. Off to see the Red Sox at Fenway with my son on Saturday, then I start a staycation next week.
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 05/07/16: morning

    by , May 7th, 2016 at 04:53 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Masters this morning...

    200 swim/[put on snorkel] 100 kick with AK/200 pull
    4 x 50 free on 1:10 even pace
    4 x 50 choice on 1:10 descend 1 -> 4 [did back]

    3 x
    250 breath control [25=6, 50=5, 75=4, 100=3-4]
    50 choice
    50 pull

    Team kick set [1st person swims to catch up to kick train, once at caboose, lead kicker swims. Took about 75 yards for swimmer to catch up, they kicked really fast when I swam! Total of 500 yds]

    10 x 25 on :40 [odds choice, evens FAST free]
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2900 yds/80 min/75 min)
    A small crowd today with Matt, Kevin, Rebecca, and Meg. I found that kick set on a coaches forum on facebook and it was a good one, planning to do it again when we have a larger group. My boy is holding up well and we are just taking it easy this weekend.
    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 05/06/16: evening

    by , May 6th, 2016 at 08:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    It's been a very busy few days at work and I am happy to usher in a long weekend! Started today with my son having a wisdom tooth removed (lucky guy) and just relaxing at home. I was able to make it to the pool tonight for a quick swim...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    4 x 150 on 2:20 [with snorkel: 100 pull with buoy into 50 kick with AK]
    4 x 50 as 25 DPS free into 25 fast IMO
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1600 yds/33 min)

    I felt pretty good in the water tonight. I ran into Greg at the pool as he gets ready to head north for a swim meet in Williston, VT, tomorrow. I was going to try to make it up but have decided to stay home; I'll swim with the team at practice tomorrow.
    Swim Workouts
  15. Workout 05/02/16: evening

    by , May 2nd, 2016 at 08:13 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I enjoyed checking in on results and catching the video from Nationals this weekend - congrats to all of the forumites that swam and especially my teammate Matt, who despite being under the weather was able to swim his events yesterday. It was neat seeing our team cap on the national stage!

    Yesterday after a busy day at work I went to the nursing home, where we have finished looking at the miracles that Jesus preformed and now have turned our attention to the Ten Commandments. Should be a good study.

    Today I was off due to a meeting my boss needs to attend tomorrow at the main office, so I was able to get in for a swim after supper.

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    100 FR with FF
    100 kick/200 pull/200 with AP (all snorkel)
    4 x 50 as 25 DPS, 25 IMO Fast
    100 BK with FF
    100 kick
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1700 yds/30 min)
    Swim Workouts
  16. Workout 04/27/16: noon

    by , April 27th, 2016 at 01:37 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 free/200 back/200 im drill

    2 x (with snorkel):
    - 100 kick with AK
    - 150 swim with AP (r/l/b)
    - 50 with FF
    - 200 pull with buoy
    50 easy
    4 x 50 as 25 DPS, 25 IMO fast
    50 easy
    4 x 100 on 1:35 as 50 drill, 25 fast BK kick, 25 DPS

    100 loosen with snorkel
    (Solo/Rec/2400 yds/45 min)

    Busy few days at work, so it was nice to get in the water. This swim put me over 50 miles for the year. Over the weekend we did a lot of landscaping and spring prep around the house. I also got in a nice ride on the motorcycle. Time to finally mow the lawn this afternoon.

    Sending fast swimming vibes to everyone competing at Nationals this weekend. Matt from our workout group will be swimming with team New England.
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 04/19/16: evening

    by , April 19th, 2016 at 09:15 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I've been taking a little time away from the pool over the past week for a little rest. It's been nice to get some work done around the house and also spending time with the family. Today we took a drive about a hour south of town to the Five Guys in Pittsfield and then did a little shopping. Nice to get out and enjoy some time and good conversation together.

    My wife and I had a massage earlier today, so I just did the warmup of tonight's masters practice with a lot of

    200 free/100 kick/200 pull/100 im drill
    4 x 50 pull on 1:10
    4 x 50 burst and cruise: from blocks, swimming under lane [streamline]
    100 easy and out
    [Rec/Masters/1100yds/30 min]
    Swim Workouts
  18. Workout 04/13/16: evening

    by , April 13th, 2016 at 08:33 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Joined my son for lunch today at the school. Even though he is not in the culinary class, we are able to meet during his lunch period. After some flank steak with parmesan garlic potatoes, BLT salad and a killer PB chocolate cake, we checked out the student store that he staffs a few days a week for his business class. After some errands and general goofing off, I made it to the pool after supper.

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    4 x [100 kick with AK, 150 with AP, 100 pull, all with buoy]
    50 easy
    10 x 50 on :50 [odds Free DPS, Evens Back and Fly]
    50 easy
    6 x 25 on :50 [odds drill, evens SDK OW]
    200 loosen and out
    [Solo/Rec/2950 yds/53 min]
    Felt good in the water tonight. The lane only had two other swimmers for the first 30 min, then I was able to split. I wrote up the workout for Masters this weekend before heading home. Tomorrow I will be dry, as I will be attending the Sophomore Summit [think career day for all of the 10th graders in the county] and then attending a care plan meeting for my wife's step-father. If I can hit the gym in the afternoon I'll try, but then I'm planning to meet up with the guys for Bible study.
    Swim Workouts
  19. 04/19/16: 5th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet

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

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

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

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

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

    Warmups - that's me in at the wall

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

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

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

    Tags: monumental
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  20. Workout 04/08/16: evening

    by , April 8th, 2016 at 07:51 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    It was nice to sleep in today and have some time for errands with my wife. We had off and on snow flurries all day which meant a snow-globe look at times outside. Tonight's swim was simple - meet warmup with two sprints and an extra 100 easy (1400 yds solo).

    Things are coming together for the meet tomorrow. We currently have 28 swimmers although it looks like my daughter will not make it home this weekend to join us. I anticipate some same-day entries, in fact I know of at two because they are flying into our small local airport from Concord, NH! I have my son on pickup duty and will try to get a picture of the plane.

    Refs, timers, scorers, giveaways and bake sale are in place. Now for a good night's sleep and clear travel lanes for warmups at 9am. I plan to get there a little after 8 to get lane lines in and help with set up.
    Swim Workouts
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