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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 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. Workout 03/21/17: evening

    by , March 21st, 2017 at 10:46 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Taper workout with the team, 1700 yds .
    Eric, Tim, Noah, Amanda, Rebecca, Jeanette, Carol, amd Matt.
    Swim Workouts
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 02/18/17: One Hour Swim

    by , February 18th, 2017 at 05:43 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    My training has really been lackluster this season, but I wanted to help team New England Masters go for another year of OHS National Champs. My daughter came home on a surprise visit and was game to time my swim.

    Finished at 4025 yds, so about a 1:29ish pace. My 500 splits were:
    6:54.22, 13:44.09, 21:11.54, 28:33.10, 37:14.04, 44:39.14, 52:47.96

    Happy to contribute. 6 other swimmers from our workout group also participated. It's a fun challenge to bring to the team every year.
  13. Workout 01/31/17: evening

    by , January 31st, 2017 at 09:40 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    3 x 100 on 2:00 even pace (did back, 1:15)
    6 x 50 on 1:00 pull
    300 (build each 100)
    4 x 75 on 1:50 (kick-swim-pull)
    2 x 150 on 3:00 (descend)

    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2300 yds/55 min]
    Good workout tonight with Matt, Carol, Tim, Greg, and Jim.
    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 01/28/16: morning

    by , January 28th, 2017 at 06:37 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    2 x [150 swim, 50 kick, 100 pull]

    4 x 25 kick
    4 x 50 pull on 1:00
    4 x 75 (fast 3rd 25) on 1:40
    4 x 100 even pace on 2:00
    4 x 75 (kick-swim-pull) on 1:50
    4 x 50 descend on 1:00
    4 x 25 FAST on :30
    4 x 50 active recovery
    [Masters/Rec/2400 yds/60 min]
    Swim Workouts
  15. Workout 01/07/17: morning

    by , January 7th, 2017 at 01:15 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull

    4 x 100 on :15sr (even pace) - used snorkel
    1 x 50 kick
    4 x 75 on :10sr (fast last 25) - used snorkel
    1 x 50 kick
    4 x 50 on :10sr (pull)
    2 x 50 skull/swim
    4 x 25 on :05sr (fast)
    2 x 50 perfect stroke
    100 for time - went :58 from the block
    4 x 50 burst/cruise

    100 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2200 yds/60 min]
    Getting into some pacing work with the team. Matt, Eric, Tim, Greg, Meg, Rebecca, and I pushed through this nice little workout. I haven't been in the water much lately, but I have been hitting the gym with my son to keep cardio up and work on some upper body.
    Swim Workouts
  16. Workout 12/20/16: evening

    by , December 20th, 2016 at 09:24 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull

    12 x 75 on :10sr [held 1:15]
    - swim kick pull
    - focus on 4 fast ones of each
    - used snorkel for 1-6

    [200 easy as others finished]

    12 x 50 on 1:00 pull
    - 3 each [breathe every 3/only to right/only left/every 5]
    - used snorkel

    12 x 25 on :40
    - odds fast, evens ez

    100 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2600 yds/60 min]

    Kind of a Twelve Days of Christmas theme, or at least my best attempt Good swim with Tim, Jim, Carol, and Rebecca.
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 12/07/16: morning

    by , December 17th, 2016 at 12:05 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Today the age-group team hosted a swim-a-thon that trickled over into our Masters slot, so we had an invitation to join in on the two hour swim. With a snowstorm just settling in , I opted to hop in for 100 laps, which took a tad over 46 minutes. Now off to pick up the college freshman from the train station and enjoy a nice dinner and a show (a live version of A Charlie Brown Christmas) at the Palace Theater in Albany.
    Swim Workouts
  18. Workout 12/10/16: morning

    by , December 10th, 2016 at 09:49 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I brought a variation of a recent Kiefer workout to the pool today.

    Warmup: 30 x 25 on :05sr
    01-10 free
    11-16 non free
    17-20 kick
    20-25 pull [did an extra 100 while we reset]
    26-30 fast

    Main Set: 30 x 50 on 1:00
    01-05 build
    06-15 odds fast, evens dps
    16-24 even pace
    25-30 non free

    Warmdown: 5 x 50 on 1:05
    active recovery
    [Masters/Rec/2600 yds/60 min]

    A different style of workout with a 30's theme. I did the even pace 50's as backstroke with a focus of 10-15yds sdk off the walls. Eric, Tim, Greg, Jim, Rebecca, and Mary.

    The high school swim team season is now in full swing so we will lose some workout options during Tuesday nights. Next weekend we will have the opportunity to join the local age group team as they take part in a swimathon - choosing between a goal of 100 or 200 laps. Should be a good jumpstart to the One Hour Swim in January.

    Updated December 12th, 2016 at 10:15 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 12/06/16: evening

    by , December 6th, 2016 at 09:50 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim, 100 kick, 100 pull
    3 x 50 burst and cruise on 1

    4 x 150 on 3:00 (did 200)
    ...descend in pairs

    3 x 100 on 2:00 pull

    3 x (5 x 50)
    ...odds fast on :55, evens eazy on 1:00

    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2600 yds/60 min)

    A good swim with quality efforts tonight with Eric, Tim, Greg, Carol, and Jim.
    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 11/29/16: evening

    by , November 29th, 2016 at 09:38 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    A nice dip after a busy day at work ....

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    100 (skull/swim by 25)
    4 x 25 fast walls

    All on 1:15... [I used my snorkle]
    1 x 50 easy, 1 x 50 fast
    1 x 50 easy, 2 x 50 fast
    1 x 50 easy, 3 x 50 fast
    1 x 50 easy, 4 x 50 fast

    100 kick into 100 pull into 100 non-free
    2 x 6 lane snake swim
    100 easy and out
    [Masters/Rec/2100 yds/60 min]

    The secret to the main set is that the number of fast swims corresponds to the pieces of pie that I ate at Thanksgiving! A good swim with Eric, Tim, Rebecca, Matt, Jim, and Carol.
    Swim Workouts
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