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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.

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Check out my swimmer info page here.

  1. Workout 10/21/14: evening

    by , October 21st, 2014 at 10:06 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Things have been quiet here in SW Vermont, as the Autumn days have turned cooler and the trees have mostly released their colorful leaves for the season. Over Columbus Day weekend I supported my wife as she ran her first ever 5k at the Run or Dye at Stratton Mountain (a "color run" where the participats dump colored dye over themselves before and after the race, in which volunteers toss the stuff at them at various stations on the course). It was a great thing to watch and encourage her to do. Afterwards, I went to the annual Men's Retreat with my son and Greg, making it just for the this final night. Lots of food and two great messages that touched on living lives of integrity, rooted in the love of God for each of us. A great getaway!

    Last week I was absent from all exercise due to a minor issue that popped up in August. Couple that with very busy days at work where flu shot have taken over, it's been a rough couple of weeks. Class and chapel services at the college have been a great refreshment through the stress of work. Got in tonight with the Masters:

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull/200 skull-swim by 25/200 IM drill

    30 sec Vert kick into 250 swim (last 50 fast)
    30 sec Vert kick into 200 swim (last 50 fast)
    30 sec Vert kick into 150 swim (last 50 fast)
    30 sec Vert kick into 100 swim (last 50 fast)

    3 x 50 burst and cruise on 1:05

    30 sec Vert kick into 150 swim (last 50 fast)
    30 sec Vert kick into 150 swim (last 50 fast)
    30 sec Vert kick into 50 fast
    30 sec Vert kick into 50 fast

    3 x 50 burst and cruise on 1:10
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2600 yds + VK/55 min)
    -------------------------------------

    That was a tough workout, but using the swim after the Vert kicking to focus on technique before popping a fast 50 was good. I'm starting to smell like chlorine again, which is always a positive
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 10/07/14: evening

    by , October 7th, 2014 at 09:26 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Good end to my vacation last week, complete with a quick two mile jog on Sunday after church. Busy couple of days to start the week: after work Monday I went to help at the community forum to address opiate addiction as part of my duties with the Rx Abuse Task Force, this morning I was up early for a presentation on adult immunizations at the local Rotary meeting, then a Rx Task Force meeting to debrief from last night (it was very well done), then Chapel and a drop in session with the worship band at the college. Right back to the grind!

    Masters tonight:

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull (plus 200 IM drill)

    Drop-down set:
    200 swim on 4:00 (did 300)
    150 pull on 4:00 (did 250)
    100 kick on 3:00
    150 swim on 4:00 (did 300)
    100 pull on 2:15 (did 150)
    50 kick on 3:00 (did 100)

    8 x 50 on 1:15 (even split 1->4, desc 5->8) I did BK
    12 x 25 on :45 (every third FAST)
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2900 yds/65 min)
    ------------------------------------
    A great swim tonight again with a full pool, as Carol, Melissa, Rachel, Meg and Kevin2 made it to the pool. The team did great with 50's pace work, so we had some extra rest on the descend efforts. A beautiful moon tonight, might try to get up early to see the "blood moon" lunar eclipse, or I might just try to get some
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  3. Workout 10/04/14: morning

    by , October 4th, 2014 at 03:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Well, I found some gumption during the middle part of my staycation and worked for two days at the college library, helping out a mission team from Dothan, AL, rip heating ductwork out of the attic. Although it was messy and I picked up some good cuts, it was a good time. Yesterday I headed out on a long planned motorcycle ride to the town named after my own in the next state over, and the weather was beautiful. I was musing that this time of year, you don't worry much about cars on the side of the road being in trouble, but you look to see where the occupants might be taking some pictures! Here are a couple from yesterday ...





    Great turnout at Masters this morning:

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull
    8 x 50 on 1:15 (videotaping each swimmer, I did one)
    6 x 75 on 1:45 (did 100's)
    4 x 50 kick
    12 x 25 on :45 (odd = choice, evens = Fast
    200 pull (I did 300)
    4 x 50 active recovery and out
    (Masters/Rec/2250 yds/75 min)
    --------------------------------------
    We had a full house with eight swimmers, including Greg, Brent, Melissa, Meg, Rachel, Rebekah, and Kevin. I plan to upload the video to youtube and send out some thoughts to each person individually.

    I went to men's breakfast with my son before practice, and was able to take this picture on the way home:

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 09/30/14: evening

    by , September 30th, 2014 at 09:27 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Went for a two mile run yesterday (which was about 1/3 trails) while the boys watched a soccer game. Staycation so far has been very unproductive, which might not be a bad thing. I will try to help out with some construction projects at the college's library tomorrow, then planning for a long (and overdue) motorcycle ride Thursday.

    Tonight Greg, Carol, and (newcomer) Rachel joined me for a Kiefer inspired workout:
    200 Swim/100 kick/200 Pull (I did an extra 200)
    8 x 25 drill

    2 x
    - 25 kick :10sr
    - 50 choice :10 sr (bk)
    - 75 drill :10
    - 100 hard (went 1:06, :07 by round)

    100 kick

    2 x 200 on :10 (I did 250)
    2 x 50 on :20
    [first round = perfect stroke, second round broken halfway for :10]

    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2200 yds/65 min)
    --------------------------------------

    Updated September 30th, 2014 at 11:42 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  5. Workout 09/27/14: morning

    by , September 27th, 2014 at 12:50 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Another few busy days at work, and I was able to go for my regular two mile jog on Thursday night, although I did not feel great during the run. Grind it out ...

    This morning I met a buddy for breakfast then went to Masters practice.

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull
    4 x 50 (25 drill, 25 swim)

    4 x 100 FR build on 2:15 (I did an extra 50 back after each)
    100 easy kick
    12 x 25 on :35 burst and cruise, kick #5+12, some extra rest in there as well
    100 Pull
    4 x 100 neg split on 2:15
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2500 yds/70 min)
    ---------------------------------------

    Greg, Kevin, Rebecca, and Kevin2 were there today. Good workout with some speed play. Off to the pumpkin patch with the family then some driving around as the Fall Foliage is due to be near peak this weekend in southern Vermont. One of the reasons I enjoy the fall season. I'll post some pics later ...
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 09/23/14: evening

    by , September 23rd, 2014 at 09:37 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Things with the new exchange student are going well. I had a good run on Sunday, about 2.75 miles with a few very large hills. Longest training run this year. Busy days at work, but after 8pm on Thursday I have staycation for ten days, so one last blitz to get some odds and ends taken care of at home. Tonight with Masters:

    3 x (I did 4):
    - 150 swim
    - 50 kick
    - 50 pull

    JBS's Sweedish 1:01 set
    - Start at :10, swim 50 yards, must finish before :60
    - next one leaves on :11, then :12, etc (there is the 1:01). Miss :60, rest one, then do 25's
    - I did kick for first 3, strokes until the one leaving on :22, and failed on the one leaving :30 (not bad based on my current level of fitness), then 50 easy [21 total x 50 = 1050 yds]

    100 recovery kick

    8 x 25 on :40
    - odd = eazy choice, evens = FAST

    150 loosen and out
    (Master/Rec/2400 yds/65 min)
    -------------------------------------

    Felt good in the water, but stiff. I notice that since I have been running more, my calves are stiff, although they don't cramp with kicking. I'll have to work on flexibility there.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 09/18/14: morning

    by , September 18th, 2014 at 02:12 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    We picked up our exchange student for the year, adding a son from China to our extended family. Johnson (an American name that he was given in grade school) is in Preston's class and headed off to school for the first time today.

    I was able to get in a very short swim before heading to the college for Chapel.

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill

    50 kick/100 swim/150 pull/200 IM
    3 x 100 on 1:30
    50 kick/100 swim/150 pull/200 IM

    50 easy and out
    (Solo/Rec/1950 yds/35 min)
    ------------------------------------

    Updated September 18th, 2014 at 02:33 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  8. Workout 09/13/14: morning

    by , September 13th, 2014 at 12:37 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I started off the day volunteering for my son's school, parking cars for the Bennington Car Show. The venue used to be held in the town south of us, but for the past few years it is held at the community park behind the school. So, a natural fundraiser was born: offer parking close to the entrance and fill up the empty lot, all profiting the school's scholarship fund.

    Met up with Kevin and Greg for Masters:

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull
    8 x 25 drills and

    6 x 75 on :15SR (desc 1-3, 4-6) [I did 8x on 1:10]
    200 Pull (think about rotation)
    4 x 150 on :15SR (desc 1-4)
    16 x 25 on :40
    - 1-4: desc stroke count -1
    - 5-8: odd = stroke, even = free
    - 9-12: odd = EZ, even = FAST
    - 13-16: odd = FAST, even = EZ

    200 loosen and out
    (2650 yds)
    --------------------------------------
    Another workout inspired by SJ Black, and I had to boogie after the 75's (at that point Kevin2 came in) due to Lena's birthday party. I'll sneak in my second run of the week tomorrow.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 09/09/14: evening

    by , September 9th, 2014 at 09:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull
    8 x 50 swim

    4 x 150 on 2.10
    200 kick/pull by 50

    200 easy and out
    (Masters/1800 yds/60 min)

    First pool practice in three weeks, first swim in a week and a half. Getting started again is tough!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  10. End of summer OWSwims

    by , September 1st, 2014 at 05:23 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I haven't been blogging but have managed to get in some nice swims over the past two weeks...

    Went to CT for a couple of nights with the family to cap the end of the summer, staying in a cottage on the CT river in the town of Chester. We were able to spend some time in Westbrook and I was able to spend a little over 20 minutes on 8/21 in these rollers for a total of 0.66 miles:



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    On 8/26 I met up with GregJS and Meg from our Masters team at Lake Raponda for a easy mile as the sun began to lower after a warm and humid day. So refreshing!



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    On 8/30 I joined Meg and Greg at Woodford State Park for a brisk morning swim. It is a beautiful park with cold water that is very dark, almost as if one is swimming through tea. The wind was strong but the sun helped to keep us warm en route to our 3/4 mile swim in just over 30 minutes.



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The pool will reopen tomorrow, but I most likely won't get back before next week. NEM SCM Champs at BU will be Dec 12-14, so I have some time to get prepared

    Classes at the Bible college started last week, and I will make it this week (because of work). Looking forward to a profitable semester.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  11. Workout 08/15/14: evening

    by , August 15th, 2014 at 10:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Went for a run last night after work and was greeted by rain about 5 minutes in. At least my sneaks are clean now

    Spent the day at home working on some small projects and spending time with the family. Made it to the pool before dinner tonight and joined the masses as the Rec is closed tomorrow due to Bennington Battle Day this weekend.

    150 Fr/150 Bk/200 IM drill/200 mix
    3 x (100 kick into 200 Pull)
    4 x 50 on traffic (25 easy free into 25 fast IMO)
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2000 yds/40 min)
    --------------------------------

    Off for the weekend, with some fun outings planned.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 08/12/14: evening

    by , August 12th, 2014 at 10:01 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Well, it's been almost a week since my last swim. I have gotten in 2 two miles runs in the meantime. I have been able to set up some OW swims for the team in the area for the end of the month with the pool being closed for maintenance. Got in tonight for Masters, with inspiration from a Kiefer workout:

    200 Free/200 Back/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 50 Fr even split on :50

    2 x 225 on 3:30 (100 DPS, 100 Build, :05 rest, 25 sprint)
    4 x 50 on :55 (decrease stroke count 1->4) 29,27,25,24
    2 x 200 on 3:15 (did IM)
    100 easy kick
    2 x 125 on 1:55 (50 DPS, 50 build, :05 rest, 25 sprint)
    8 x 50 on :50 (alt pull and kick by 50)

    100 skull
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/3000 yds/65 min)
    -------------------------------------
    Small turn out tonight as many of our swimmers have had or are about to enter into tri competitions. I am looking forward to some more folks joining us for some lake swims.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 08/06/14: OW

    by , August 6th, 2014 at 09:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Met up with Brent for a drive to NY's Queechy Lake with our Berkshire buddies. The day was warm but nice, and only Jonathan and Shawn (I think that was his name) made it. This is a favorite lake as the weeds are minimal, generally low traffic on the water and water is clear. Tonight did not disappoint even for our small group. The water was not too cold but just plain refreshing. We swam a large rectangle around the lake as usually and ended up with 1.15 miles in just under 40 minutes. While driving back to Brent's work to drop him off we ran into GregJS on his way to the theater - a quick and fun meeting!

    Tags: berkshires
    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  14. Workout 08/01/14: noon

    by , August 1st, 2014 at 09:17 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick workout today before lunch:

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill/4 x 25 build

    4 x (50 kick into 100 pull with buoy)

    4 x 125 (25 kick, 75 im rotate, 25 pull)

    300 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2100 yds/45 min)
    --------------------------------

    Busy adult swim today, so I was pretty much went with traffic. Next splash will likely be Monday. I did get in a two mile run Wednesday night, so I've settled into 2 miles twice a week.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  15. Workout 07/26/14: morning

    by , July 26th, 2014 at 09:20 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I've been having a blast with my brother and his family, and was able to convince him to join me at the pool this morning for masters practice. He was the distance/IM force to beat here in VT in the early 90's then UMass for college, but I suspect he hasn't been in the pool in at least eight years. My wife also splashed in and did mostly her own thing but on our intervals....

    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
    4 x 25 stroke work
    2 x 200 on 4:00 neg split
    400 fr breathe 3/4/5/6 by 25
    3 x 100 on 2:10 even split
    300 swim/pull, breathing only to the west wall of the pool
    8 x 50 on 1:10 (descend 1-4, 5-8)
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2500 yds/65 min)
    ------------------------------------

    Bry and Greg joined me in doing the whole workout! Rebecca missed a little warmup, but was swimming after we left. Nadine was in for half the practice and then Kevin came in for a bit. Lena also swam for an hour, her longest workout yet! I am so proud of her.

    We hung out and grabbed some pizza for lunch before the grand reunion party this evening. It was great to see relatives young and old from near and far. A great treat was the ability for us to head back to our childhood home and walk through it, sharing it with our families. My crew remembers living the house because they were wee ones when we moved from the apartment out back, but the their cousins had never seen it. Here is a picture of the barns that my dad and his dad before him ran, wonderfully restored by my father's cousin and his wife:

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  16. Workout 07/23/14: morning

    by , July 23rd, 2014 at 07:56 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I ran 2 miles last night after work, a hot and muggy 20 minutes. A quick swim this morning at the Rec, and it was packed. I did 1200yds in about 20 min. My oldest brother and family are visiting from Washington State, so I'll be spending a good bit of time with them over the next week. Big extended family reunion this Saturday.
    Not sure how much swimming I'll be getting in.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 07/20/14: OW

    by , July 20th, 2014 at 09:30 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    It was overcast this morning for our planned swim at Lake Paran, so my only companions in the water was this gaggle of ducks. I swam for about 20 minutes, enjoying the cloud cover blanketing the surrounding hills and the fun sparrows flying overhead. An rather large trout (which are stocked in this lake) darted right underneath me. A fun 0.45 mile stretch-out swim after yesterdays meet.

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  18. 07/19/14: Baystate Games Day 1

    by , July 19th, 2014 at 11:13 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Just back from Springfield College in Massachusetts for the first day of the 2014 Baystate Games , my first LCM meet! I swam lcm once or twice last year with Brent and then the year before that with Tom in the Philly area; otherwise, I have never been in lcm. The meet is set up with the kids swimming the in the morning to make finals, but the masters (19-34, 35-49, 50+) swam timed finals of mixed events after the kids heats. 6 lanes with no separate warmup lanes. GregJS decided (after some arm turning by his coach) to give the meet a try, so I met up at his place and we carpooled down.

    Noon warmups and a 12:30 start for the 400 Free; I got in 1000m. Greg did not want to do this, but since there was a flat registration fee entitling one to swim up to 4 events on the weekend, he did it and held a comfortable pace throughout. I was in the final heat and missed the opportunity to warmup, feeling stiff through the first 200. I was pleased with a 5:15 final time.

    Then there was a brake in the action and we wandered around to the basketball area and concession stand before relaxing on a bench outside the pool. We headed in to evening warmups about 20 minutes after the 3:30 opening before the 4:30 start (did 700m). 400 IM for masters was first, and I finished at 5:57. With no easy swimming, I took Greg's advice of some easy stretching under a hot shower.

    I watched Greg swim an inspiring 100 breast, which I will let him describe. I then splashed in for the 100 back and cranked out a 1:09.42 I felt like I had a great start and 10 sdk's before settling into a strong first half; then 10 skd's before motoring back.

    The last event of the night was the 50 free, and I watched Greg sneak under :30 in a beautiful swim. I was in the last heat and flubbed the start a bit but ended up with a 28.31, a great swim for me. I wanted to take just one breath, but after all of that swimming on the day I ended up taking three. I then did an easy 150 warmdown, totaling 2800 meters on the day.

    Here is a shot of the pool (Art Linkletter Natatorium):


    Great swag for swimmers: tee-shirt and latex cap for all, and medals for placing 1-3 as well as a windbreaker (per person) if you finish 1-4. I ended the day with two golds and two silvers, and Greg brought home two three bronzes! We decided to just swim the one day, so tomorrow the competetion continues without us. It was a neat format with the kids and masters swimming together, and as always it was fun to connect with my swim buddies in the area as well as make some new connections.
  19. Workout 07/18/14: noon

    by , July 18th, 2014 at 02:41 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick dip today, meet warm up of 1400 yards + a fast 50 back (~:30). Feeling pretty good ahead of the meet tomorrow.

    Last night was the Midnight Madness event in our town, with the shops closing up around 4pm, then reopening from 7-12 with great sales, plus vendors on the sidewalks and specials at the local restaurants [pictures here: http://goo.gl/sQNr19]. After work, I met with my son at the chippie in our town for supper, then my wife for a little shopping before heading to a booth set up by my boss that highlighted deer ticks and lyme disease. They were very busy in the early evening with lots of questions, but as night fell the families went home and the tomfoolerly picked up. After the cops broke up something a bit down the street, my boss decided it was time to pack things up around 9:45. I then went with my daughter to get some new running sneakers and some shoes for work.

    It's a fun time, although when I was a kid the streets would be closed off but some poor behavior has kept the streets open to traffic. We used to be able to go to the CB Sports factory for great deals on winter coats/snowpants, and while some of those opportunities have ceased it is still a wonderful community event.

    Greg, you ready for tomorrow's 400 Free ???

    Updated July 18th, 2014 at 03:00 PM by rxleakem

    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 07/15/14: noon

    by , July 15th, 2014 at 05:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Masters practice was canceled tonight due to an away age-group meet being moved to our pool due to weather concerns, so I emailed the group last night and went for a swim at lunch time after running some errands.

    200 Fr/200 Bk/200 IM drill/200 kick-drill

    4 x
    - 25 b/c fr into 25 stroke IMO easy (then 100 easy)
    - 25 stroke IMO fast into easy free (then 100 easy)

    - 50 Fast Fr

    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1650 yds/40 min)
    ----------------------------------

    Good workout. I am feeling slow in the water, but still very much ready for the meet this weekend. I am planning to carpool with GregJS, and we discussed details at the pool this afternoon. We went in on a Keifer order and I was able to get some good deals on a USMS sweatshirt and caps, as well as a new endurance square-leg suit.

    Finishing organizing/honey-do-list's now before supper, then I'll get ready for a couple of days at work followed by a quick swim on Friday.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
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