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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 11/26/16: morning

    by , November 26th, 2016 at 02:34 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    While my time has been sporadic in the pool of late, I am happy to report that the new job is going well and the kiddos both made it home safely for a fun Thanksgiving holiday. Today we revived the main course from the Turducken Set from Swimsuit addict:

    200 Swim/100 kick/200 pull [did an extra 200]
    4 x 25 build

    Turducken set: A turducken is a turkey that is stuffed with a duck, which in turn has been stuffed with a chicken. Iíve never tasted one, but I feel like Iíve been reading about them as a novelty food item for at least a decade. The latest article I saw about turducken was not about food at all, but about privacy law, and ever since I read it, the word has been rolling around in my head. So I decided I would assemble stroke turduckens by stuffing a 50 of one stroke into the middle of a 100 of another stroke, then sticking the whole thing into a 200 of yet another stroke. I did four rounds of these; on the first, turkey=fly, duck=back, and chicken=breast; the strokes rotate through the IM thereafter. The set looked like this:

    4 x 350 @ :30-:40 rest interval
    1st 350=100 FL/50 BK/50 BR/50 BK/100 FL
    2nd 350=100 BK/50 BR/50 FR/50 BR/100 BK
    3rd 350=100 BR/50 FR/50 FL/50 FR/100 BR
    4th 350=100 FR/50 FL/50 BK/50 FL/100 FR

    On each round I aimed to do the middle 50 at 200 IM pace; the 50 before it as build and the 50 after it as recovery, and the turkey 100s at the front and back at basic aerobic pace.
    Quick 200 and out
    [Masters/Rec/2400 yds/50 min]

    Since breaststroke has not been my friend of late, I just kicked that portion of the set. Greg missed out on the fun, but Rebecca, Kevin, Meg, Jim, Mary and Magnus all took part, although only Meg and Rebecca attemped to swim fly. This was my sixth time swimming this set and I really do look forward to getting it in each year.

    Updated November 27th, 2016 at 06:43 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: turducken
    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 11/12/16: morning

    by , November 12th, 2016 at 07:49 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Back in the pool with the team today.

    2 x [200 swim, 100 kick, 100 pull]

    8 x 25 on :40 burst and cruise
    8 x 50 on :60 even pace
    100 kick
    [working flipturns with team]
    2 x Snake Swim [300 yds total]
    4 x 50 on :75 descend [did back]

    4 x 50 stroke as warmdown
    [Masters/Rec/2200 yds/60 min]
    I swam with Greg and Tim, Rebecca, Meg and Rachel split the middle, and Melissa and Mary swam together on the other end.
    Swim Workouts
  3. Workout 11/08/16: evening

    by , November 8th, 2016 at 09:12 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I helped out with the age group team on Tuesdays the past two weeks as their head coach is away. Working on streamlines and turns with the kids, and participating in some 25s at the the old guy!

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    2 x
    - 1 x 50 on :60 (85%)
    - 100 easy
    - 1 x 50 on :60 (90%)
    - 100 easy
    - 1 x 50 on :60 FAST
    - 100 pull
    - 4 x 75 on :15sr (kick/swim/pull) [held 1:20]

    150 easy and out
    [Masters/Rec/2250 yds/55 min]

    Not quite as full tonight, as I swam with Greg, Jim, Tim and Eric. Nice flow as we increased intensity with the 50s, and I did fly on the swim portion of the 75s.
    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 10/29/16: morning

    by , October 29th, 2016 at 07:37 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Halloween-themed workout:

    Haunting Warm-up: 200 Swim/100 kick/200 pull

    2 x 150 Zombie Swim [50 DPS/50 overkick/50 smooth]
    4 x 25 Tombstone Kick

    2 x Spooky set:
    Swim 100 build on :10sr
    Pull 100 on :15sr
    Only breathe to the right x 75 on :10sr [did 100]
    Only breathe to the left x 75 on :10sr [did 100]
    Kick 50 choice
    You now wait for everyone to finish and do it again!

    Trick or Treat?
    - Dive and Die - worked on streamlining from the walls
    - Bobbing apples and glide - 4 x vertical kick then swim underwater (width of pool)

    Creepy warm-down: 200 yds
    [Masters/Rec/2000 yds/70 min]

    Full pool again. I swam with Tim and Eric; Greg, Kevin, and Tom split the middle lane; and Meg, Melissa, Rebecca, and Mary shared the other lane.

    I recently changed jobs, going back to the independent pharmacy in town. Here's a link to a photo they ran in the paper today if you want to check it out.
    Swim Workouts
  5. Workou 10/25/16: evening

    by , October 25th, 2016 at 09:10 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    3 x
    - 4 x 75 kick/swim/pull on :20sr [1:20 interval]
    - 1 x 50 non-free, on next top or bottom...
    - 1 x 50 FAST
    - 100 loosen [did extra 50]

    4 x 50 AR on 1:05
    [Masters/Rec/2450 yds/60 min]
    Another good turnout in the pool, as I swam with Greg, Eric and Tim split a lane, as did Carol and Rebecca. I worked fly and back on the 75 swim, and descended the fast 50's [30,28,27].
    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 10/22/16: morning

    by , October 22nd, 2016 at 03:19 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Even fuller house today at the pool!

    300 swim/100 kick/200 pull/50 easy

    2 x
    - 1 x 200 swim on 3:30
    - 2 x 100 swim on 2:00
    - 4 x 50 on 1:00 [did back]
    - Masters minute rest
    [first round even, second round faster]

    50 easy

    2 x [25 stroke, 25 free drill]
    4 x 75 [kick/swim/pull] on :20sr
    4 x 75 pull on 1:45 [did 100's, with snorkel]

    100 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2400 yds/70 min]
    Some to the triathletes are starting to come back and join us in the pool. Today I swam with Eric, Matt, and Tim, while Greg, Kevin, and Meg split the middle and Melissa, Rachel, Rebecca, and Mary shared the far lane. Starting to plan on some focus workouts for the upcoming months.
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 10/18/16: evening

    by , October 18th, 2016 at 09:41 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Full house in the pool again, which is a good thing.

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 25 build as group
    3 x 100 on :20sr pull
    4 x 25 kick as group
    1 x Noah's Ark
    1 x 100 perfect stroke (recovery)
    6 x 75 on :20sr (kick/swim/pull)
    100 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2150 yds/50 min)
    Our six lane pool is set up with two lines in, so three big lanes. I split with Matt and Eric, Greg and Tim were in the middle, and Jim swam with Rebecca in the far lane. Another good mix of intensity with recovery and a great workout.
    Swim Workouts
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
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