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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 11/24/15: evening

    by , November 24th, 2015 at 10:18 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I utilized the "RapidPass" while donating blood last night and was able to quickly donate a pint to blood. The pass allows you to review the materials and answer questions at home the day of your appointment, which speeds up the process before hitting the chair. I tried the double red donation last time and didn't feel great for a few days afterwards, so back to a single pint, my 26th! Took it easy today and ran some errands before working on a paper for school. Here is our team practice from tonight ...

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull/100 im drill
    4 x 25 build as a group

    1 x 50 EZ, 1 x 50 FAST (all of these 50's on the 1:15)
    1 x 50 EZ, 2 x 50 FAST
    1 x 50 EZ, 3 x 50 FAST
    1 x 50 EZ, 4 x 50 FAST

    100 kick into 100 pull into 100 choice
    Filming 50's with the GoPro
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/1750 yds/40 min)
    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 11/23/15: morning

    by , November 23rd, 2015 at 02:16 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a great weekend. Saturday night Preston and I drove down to Williams College for the first men's hockey game of the season, and yesterday our church held a joint service with the other plant that meets at the school. It was fun to worship together with Joe Frey and hear about his involvment with Compassion International, a message on Thanksgiving from Summit Church's pastor, and then a grand Thanksgiving feast afterwards. Preston and I even headed out in the early afternoon for a flag football game against the college, and us old guys won! I'm not very sore, but did a short workout this morning anyway ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill

    2 x (with snorkel)
    - 100 kick with AK
    - 150 swim with AP
    - 100 pull with buoy

    100 easy and out
    (Solo/Rec/1400 yds/25 min)

    Off to donate blood in a bit then get ready for the Patriots game tonight!
    Swim Workouts
  3. Workout 11/21/15: morning

    by , November 21st, 2015 at 04:18 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Practice with the team this morning ...

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

    2 x
    - 6 x 50 on 1:10 (descend 1-4, maintain pace from #3 on 5 and 6)
    - 100 pull moderate ["no debate"] - did extra 50
    - 50 easy kick
    - 100 for time [rd 1 = :56, rd 2 = :60]

    300 straight through (25 kick/25 swim/25 pull) [extra 100]
    4 x 25 on :40 (easy/fast - did skd's fast)
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2500 yds/70 min)
    Good workout and nice to get some timed (in water start) swims for baseline.
    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 11/20/15: morning

    by , November 20th, 2015 at 11:14 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Today marks the start to another staycation, so no work until the 30th Quick swim this morning ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    2 x (with snorkel)
    - 100 kick with AK
    - 150 swim with AP
    - 100 pull with buoy

    200 as 25 easy into 25 fast IMO (in traffic)
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1600 yds/30 min)

    Off for a motorcycle ride this afternoon with my neighbor and then some bowling later with the family.
  5. Workout 11/17/15: morning

    by , November 17th, 2015 at 09:23 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Busy weekend but it ended on a great note as Preston celebrated his 18th birthday. Had a small get together after I returned home after work that Lena put on. A fun afternoon. Also, Preston wad accepted to his first choice college, Cleveland State University. Hopefully I'll be able to swim their main pool on a future trip

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    600 shark swim
    100 easy
    Broken 1000 on 1:30 base
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2400 yds/40 min)
    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 11/11/15: evening

    by , November 11th, 2015 at 09:09 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    A special thanks to all that have served or are currently serving our country this Veterans Day. We were able to attend our town's annual parade, here are a couple of pics...

    I was able to get in a long swim tonight...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill

    3 x through with snorkel
    -100 kick with AK
    -150 strong swim with AP
    -100 Pull

    50 easy
    Two times thru: (25's fast IMO into the second swims DPS free, :10 between)
    25 25
    25 50
    25 75
    25 100

    50 easy

    4 x 50 on :45 Quarter's Strong
    4 x 25 on :30 burst and cruise (6/8/10/15)
    200 easy and out
    (Solo/Rec/3000 yds/60 min)
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 11/09/15: morning

    by , November 9th, 2015 at 10:04 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Enjoyed a great visit with the family to Philly over the weekend to visit our daughter, including my first ever trip to IKEA and a 76ers game. Traffic was heavy on Friday as we arrived, but light on Sunday as we returned to VT. We stayed at a Courtyard on the Navy Yard, a real treat.

    Quick swim today before work ...
    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    2 x (with snorkel)
    - 100 kick with ak
    - 150 swim with AP strong
    - 100 pull with buoy

    100 easy and out
    (Solo/Rec/1400 yds/25 min)
    Told you it was quick! Long week at work but I hope to swim on Wed and Thursday.
    Swim Workouts
  8. Workout 11/03/15: evening

    by , November 3rd, 2015 at 10:35 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    A beautiful day today here in southern Vermont, and i was able to get out on the motorcycle for a nice looking ride with Lena. Made it to masters tonight...

    3 x 100 choice on :15sr
    2 x (with snorkel)
    - 50 kick with ak
    - 100 pull
    - 2 x 25 build (plus an extra 200)

    2 x 200 as 50 choice 50 pull (did 50 after each)
    4 x 100 descend 1-4 (did 50 non free after each)
    8 x 50 choice (in pairs: easy then hard)

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

    Great swim tonight. Joined Greg, Carol, MG, and Jim as Matt and Peggie were on their own.
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 11/02/15: evening

    by , November 2nd, 2015 at 08:36 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Busy weekend at work, but I sure did enjoy the extra hour of sleep! The nice thing about seeing November on the calendar is that the Rec is now open for a half day on Sundays through the spring, a nice treat.

    Swim tonight in the crowded adult swim lane ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    2 x (with snorkel)
    - 100 kick with alignment kickboard
    - 150 strong swim with agility paddles
    - 100 pull with buoy

    200 as 25 easy into 25 fast IMO
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1600 yds/30 min)

    Well, my goggles fell out of my bag as I left the house, so I had to borrow a stylish pink kids spare pair from the lifeguard

    Here is a picture that I took last night of the sky - Preston was out and about driving and we followed the sky as it yield beautiful colors like this for about 15 minutes. Then they dissipated...
    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 10/29/15: noon

    by , October 29th, 2015 at 08:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Beat the rain to the pool, but was not so lucky on the walk home, so I stayed a tad wet ...

    150 free/150 back/200 im drill

    2 x (all with snorkel)
    -100 kick with finis alignment kickboard (first time!)
    -150 strong with AP
    -100 pull with buoy

    10 x 50 (descend in threes)
    1-3 free on :45
    4-6 back on :50
    7-9 free on :45
    last one easy

    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1800 yds/35 min)

    Ventured over with Preston to see my grandmother, who turned 94 last month just before falling and breaking her pelvis. A bit of rehab and she has been home for about three weeks. It was great to catch up with her and find that she has been released from home PT and graduated to use of a cane for daytime mobility. We enjoyed a delightful cup of tea and cookies, just like I remember as a kid!

    Even with rain and wind these past few days, the foliage is still trying to hang on. It was a beautiful season for the leave peepers - here is a farm we drove by on the way to Nana's house ...
    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 10/24/15: morning

    by , October 24th, 2015 at 04:56 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a bit of a head cold the past few days and took Friday off. On the upswing after some solid extra sleep and joined the crew at Masters this morning. A packed house!

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    8 x 25 drill
    300 pull (did 400)
    4 x 25 kick
    300 as 25 ez/25 fasd=t/50e/50f/75e/75f (did extra 100)
    Relay fun (push/pull in pairs and then 25 sprint
    4 x 75 on :20 sr with middle 25 fast
    4 x 50 on :15 sr descend
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2300 yds/75 min)

    Greg, Matt, Kevin and I were in the fast lane, Meg, Melissa, and Rachel in the middle lane, and newcomers Julie and Alisa joined Marie while my wife stayed out and talked with the guard. It is really neat to see the pool packed. The workout went well and there were no collisions, so that is a plus!
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 10/20/15: evening

    by , October 20th, 2015 at 10:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Masters tonight with the team:

    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
    4 x 50 on 1:10 even pace

    4 x
    - 100 pull on 2:00
    - 3 x 50 on 1:00 (did im switch)
    - 2 x 25 on :10sr easy

    200 (kick/pull by 50)
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2200 yds/50 min)
    I swam with Greg, with Meg, Beth and Jim doing the workout on their own. Matt was doing his own workout as did Lena and Peggi. [I helped these last two with breathing last week and they are making great strides with swimming full freestyle. I'm really proud of my wife ]

    We enjoyed a short trip to Philly over the weekend to visit with my daughter. No swimming for me but that was just fine - it was great to have the family together for a bit and checking out some new things in and around the city.
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 10/13/2015: evening

    by , October 13th, 2015 at 09:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Yesterday I was able to sneak in a nice motorcycle ride after Lena and I drove around to get in some leaf peaking. Today I cleaned out the garage and then made it to the college for practice so that I can drum on Thursday during chapel, my first time this year.

    I hit the pool early tonight...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    600 shark swim
    1 x 100 loosen
    1 Noah's Ark
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1900 yds/35 min)

    Not too crowded tonight. My lower back has been bothering me since last week and is still tight. Swimming helped a little but was more awkard than anything. Tonight I did some instruction at Masters and helped my wife and Peggi with breathing while swimming freestyle - they both did a great job and were able to get in a few laps with their faces underwater!

    Here's a pic that I took at the Men's Retreat this past weekend - beautiful place in NH!

    My brother-in-law Dave by the lake

    The climbing wall that Dave, Greg, and I climbed - 35 feet tall!
    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 10/09/15: morning

    by , October 9th, 2015 at 10:24 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Another quick swim this morning - adult swim was packed this morning.

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    400 shark swim
    4 x 100 on traffic (even length stroke IMO, last fast)
    100 kick
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1600yds/30 min)

    First three swim week since Nats. Off to Men's Retreat this weekend, then on staycaction next week.
    Swim Workouts
  15. Workout 10/06/15: evening

    by , October 6th, 2015 at 11:48 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Enjoyed the day off by getting errands completed and also making supper - a delicious chicken parm soup with zucchini bread. I even have leftovers for work tomorrow. Full house on the pool tonight...

    200 free/100 kick/100 pull
    4 x 50 even pace on 1:05

    2 x 300 on :30 sr
    3 x 200 on :20 sr
    3 x 100 on :10 sr

    200 loosen and out (added extra 150)
    (Masters/Rec/2450 yds/60 min)
    Some new faces for me to meet tonight with Jim and Beth and Peggi in the water. Jeanette also swam for the first time in a long while. Great workout with Greg pushing me as I get back into the swim of things.
    Swim Workouts
  16. 10/05/15: evening

    by , October 5th, 2015 at 08:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick swim tonight.

    200/free200 back/200 im drill
    400 shark swim
    100 loosen
    (Solo/Rec/1100 yds/20 min)
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 09/26/15: morning

    by , September 27th, 2015 at 12:19 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Masters this morning - swam with Greg and Kevin, with Matt and Marie on their own.

    200 free/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 25 burst and cruise on :35

    4 x 125 on :15sr (50 free, 25 stroke sprint, 50 free dps)
    1 x 300 pull
    1 x 100 kick
    10 x 50 on 1:05 (odds choice, evens FAST Free progression - hit 28 on the last one)
    200 loosen and chatter (I also added an addition 200 over the course of the swim)
    (Masters/Rec/2400 yds/60 min)

    Wow, it's been two weeks since my last swim. I made good on the threat to start painting the house, and that has consumed any extra time in my schedule. I am getting a good workout each day scraping, caulking, and prepping...not to mention the painting! Lena has helped out to make the process a bit more bearable. I have also replaced the motion light on the garage, installed a keyless deadbolt for the backdoor, replaced the external vents for the dryer and the bathroom fan, and some finish carpentry that needed to be completed on the addition we put on a few years ago. At this point, the only painting that needs to be finished is the trip on the back of the house, and in the spring I will likely do that (unless the weather warms up a tad) as well as the west side of the house. I'll have some landscaping to do as well heading into this fall as we had a family friend remove three trees and a few shrubs that got a little out of control.

    I posted about our last team OW swim here ( My class at the college this year is going well - I really enjoy the professor and the reading that we are completing. I also watched 'The War Room' with Preston and Lena on Monday - great movie about the power of prayer that our community was blessed to have play locally.

    Updated September 27th, 2015 at 08:53 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  18. Workout 09/12/15: Morning

    by , September 12th, 2015 at 02:46 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I've been working at some house projects, namely scraping and prep work for some painting. My drylands.

    200 swim/200 kick/200 pull
    8 x 25 drills
    6 x 75 on :15sr (desc 1-3,4-6. Did second round back)
    200 pull
    4 x 150 on :15sr (best avg. Did first 50 IMO)
    14 x 25 on :40 (1-5 stroke/free, 6-10 fast/ez, 11-14 -1 stroke count)
    200 loosen (I also got in an extra 300)
    Good workout and now I'm looking forward to a visit with Emma this weekend

    Updated September 12th, 2015 at 11:01 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 09/08/15: evening

    by , September 8th, 2015 at 10:47 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had a nice swim tonight at Masters, with Greg, MG, and Meg (Matt did his own workout)

    200 swim, 100 kick, 200 pull
    8 x 50 on 1:05 even split
    4 x 125 on 2:20 (I did im)
    300 dps (did 350)
    4 x 75 on 1:40 descend
    200 as 50 kick, 50 pull
    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2250 yds/60 min)

    I spent the morning resealing cthe driveway, so I'm beat!

    First day back in the pool since it closed two weeks ago
  20. Workout 09/06/15: OW

    by , September 6th, 2015 at 11:04 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Searsburg Reservoir:

    This was my first time swimming in here, and the last group swim of the summer. I drove over with Matt and met Greg at the parking area. This is a smaller body of water, the second reservoir of the Deerfield River that pools up for electricity generation. I have a track of the swim noted here:

    On the northeast side of the bowl we found the river spilling in, and to the southeast a white building, where water flows over a spillway and on to another reservoir. Water on the surface was great, around 74°f, but just two or three feet below our catch yielded cold water, about ten degrees cooler. Notice that one lonely tree has fallen victim to fall foliage, the only one thus far that I have seen.

    Here is a picture looking east from the parking area:
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
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