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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. Checking and saying hello

    by , April 4th, 2020 at 11:10 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Lakes are getting warmer, so maybe by the end of the month I might be able to get in somewhere!

    On a funny note, I started jumping rope again for the first time in 25 years. It's tough! haha

    Here is a good read on social distancing from a marathon swimmer that is quick.

    Stay healthy. Wash your hands. The water will accept us back without judgment once the doors are opened again.
    Tags: covid-19
  2. 02/23/20: One Hour Swim

    by , February 23rd, 2020 at 09:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Training has been progressing well, despite the lack of blogging. I am aiming to swim EndWet this June so have been doing a lot of base work.

    Today I rang in 4507 yards, almost as much as my biggest swim 7 years ago. Felt strong throughout and happy to join at least 8 others from our workout group to contribute yards towards New England's bid to return as National Champions.

    1000's: 12:47.73, 25:53.00 (13:05), 39:12.66 (13.19), 52:37.50 (13:24)

    Previous years...
    2019: sick - missed
    2018; 4000
    2017: 4025
    2016: 4393
    2015: 4257
    2014: 4560
    2013: 4565
    2012: 4275
    2011: 3800

    Updated February 25th, 2020 at 12:44 AM by rxleakem

    Tags: ohs
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events , Timed swims
  3. Workout 06/15/19: morning

    by , June 15th, 2019 at 10:53 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Still swimming two days a week but not blogging. I have been working on "pool open water" sets the past 6 weeks. Today we did (without lane lines):

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [did extra 200 swim, 200 pull, 100 im]
    4 x 50 quarter's strong

    "300's served 5 ways" ...
    -300 on 6:00 [done as 4 laps counterclockwise around full 6 lane 25yd pool - no walls]
    ....I did an extra lap
    - 6 x 50 on 1:00 [wherein all 5 of us swam between lanes 2+4, rotating position in lane]
    - 2 x 150 [done as 2 laps clockwise around the full pool - no walls]
    - 3 x 100 on 2:00 [between lanes 2+4, I did 150's with Matt]
    - 4 x 75 k-s-p on 1:30

    - 200 loosen plus and extra 100
    [Masters/Rec/3200 yds/68 min]

    While my current Open Water schedule is zilch, I have been incorporating this type of training/awareness since we do have triathletes in our group. At all times passing, touching of legs, and generally getting used to swimming with someone practically on top of you is encouraged. Everyone really feels the lack of benefit from a flipturn every 25 years when we do the full pool swims with accompanying chop. We have also worked on sighting techniques, turning through corners (with imagined buoys), and talking about starting and finishing races (like...should I start in the middle or outside of the main group, or let them go ahead for like 10 seconds so I don't get clobbered in the first 100 yds of the race). With some changes in the management of the Rec Center I am able to sneak in a few minutes early and have bumped my swims up to 32-3600 yds (from 24-2600), which has been good for me.
    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 04/15/19: evening

    by , April 16th, 2019 at 12:29 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I'm still swimming just not blogging. Sorry. My wife and I did take a trip to Ireland, rented a car and air bnb'd our way through south Ireland in a clockwise manner over 6 days. I made contact with the Limerick Masters through facebook and was able to make their Monday night lcm practice. We did...
    6 x 100 (50 back into 50 free) on :10sr
    3 x 200 on 3:20 (lead lane)
    4 x 150 on 2:20 (50 b stroke 100 free)
    4 x 100 on 2:00 im
    2 x 50 fast (went 31 on the 2nd)

    Here's a limerick for you..
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tags: lcm
    Swim Workouts
  5. workout 03/10/19: afternoon

    by , March 10th, 2019 at 08:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    With work this weekend I missed the masters practice yesterday. So I did it solo today after work.

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill

    The Davis Mile, broken 1650
    Subtract 2 minutes for total time:
    275 swim (11 lengths) @ 20 seconds rest
    250 swim (10 lengths) @ 20 seconds rest
    225 swim (9 lengths) @ 20 seconds rest
    200 swim (8 lengths) @ 15 seconds rest
    175 swim (7 lengths) @ 15 seconds rest
    150 swim (6 lengths) @ 15 seconds rest
    125 swim (5 lengths) @ 15 seconds rest
    100 swim (4 lengths) @ 10 seconds rest
    75 swim (3 lengths) @ 10 seconds rest
    50 swim (2 lengths) @ 10 seconds rest
    25 swim (1 length)
    -- 23:04 so my 1650 time was 20:34

    150 float
    200 loosen and out
    [Solo/Rec/2600 yds/42 min]

    Updated March 10th, 2019 at 10:14 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 03/05/19: evening

    by , March 5th, 2019 at 10:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    6 x 50 on 1:15 [did 75's]
    1 x 150 loosen [did 200]

    8 x 50 on 1:00 [odd fast, even dps]
    1 x 50 ez
    8 x 50 on 1:05 [odd fast, even dps]
    1 x 50 ez
    6 x 25 burst and cruise
    3 x 50 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2350 yds/52 min]

    Good swim with Greg, Matt, Carol, Noah, and new swimmer Kate.
    Swim Workouts
  7. Meet 03/02/19: SpringOff the Blocks (NY)

    by , March 2nd, 2019 at 10:09 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    After swimming a short workout with the Masters team I headed over to Albany, NY, with my wife for my first time competing at the Spring Off The Blocks meet at the Guilderland YMCA.

    I was able to get in 900 in warmups before getting ready for my events for the day. I picked three in the beginning of the schedule so that I won't be at the pool all day. haha

    Event 3: 200yd breast: 2:57.01
    -- I worked my streamlines and not a whole lot more in my biennial attempt at this race. I am still convinced that I will someday learn to swim breast quickly

    Event 6: 100yd IM: 1:04.07
    -- Came in third in the heat with a good swim. I built-up the fly and cranked the back then lost ground to everyone on breast. I tried to finish strong with a good in season time.

    Event 11: 100yd back: 1:01.77
    -- I felt like I had a great swim. I was close the wall on the second turn but recovered. However I didn't adjust and was way to close on the last turn and didn't get any sdk's off the wall.

    I added 800 between events and with warmdown and headed into the city for some shopping and lunch with my wife. It was great to see from swimming buddies from past events and to make some new friends. The meet was well run and I was done in about 75 minutes.
  8. Workout 03/02/19: morning

    by , March 2nd, 2019 at 12:30 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 75 k-s-p on 1:30 [did them on 1:15 with extra 50)
    12 x 25 on :40, done as
    - 4 x
    ------ 25 relaxed [count strokes]
    ------ 25 faster [count strokes
    ------ 25 fastest [count strokes]
    [trying to keep counts down while swimming fast]

    250 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/1300 yds/30 min]
    I did half of the workout this morning as I have a meet at 1pm over near Albany, NY. I am feeling better but not 100%, so we'll see how things go. It'll be fun to race and in a pool that I have yet to swim in. I left Greg, Jeff, and Kevin to finish out the main set.
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout: 02/26/19 evening

    by , February 26th, 2019 at 10:03 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Still on the slow road to feeling better. I opted not to the the one hour swim tonight and will miss the deadline for the postal entry this year, but will get it done sometime next month.

    200 free/100 kick/200 pull (extra 200)
    4 x 50 burst and cruise on 1:00

    3 x 100 on 2:00 (did 150's)
    6 x 75 k-s-p on 1:30 (did 8 on 1:15)
    1 x 300 pull - rotation focus (did 400)
    12 x 25 on :30 (odds fast, even ez)
    5 x 50 warmdown
    [Masters/Rec/2750 yds/55 min]
    Great swim with Noah and Anne.
    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 02/22/19: afternoon

    by , February 22nd, 2019 at 10:18 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Feeling better but not great....

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    4 x 150 pull with snorkel and buoy
    3 x 200 kick/swim by 100
    400 dolphin dives in the deep, 200 loosen
    [Solo/Rec/2400 yds/45 min]
    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 02/19/19: evening

    by , February 19th, 2019 at 10:26 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    It's been 10 days out of the water. Last week we had a snowstorm that closed the Rec early and I picked up a nasty cold on Friday which left me on the couch all weekend. I did count for the One Hour Swim, which saw Libby, Matt, Kevin, Jeff, Anne, Greg, Jim, and Carol knock out a lot of yards! I will plan to do mine next week (before the end of month deadline).

    Today I worked all day and just took it easy tonight as the team swam. I did 1300 in 25 minutes alongside my wife, who hit a PR of 700 yds in 30 min.
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 02/10/19: afternoon

    by , February 10th, 2019 at 06:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    100 kick/400 pull

    75 easy
    8 x 100 on 1:25 [hold 1:15s]
    75 easy
    2 x [4 x 25 on :30] - skd odd, sprints even
    200 loosen and out
    [Solo/Rec/2450 yd/45 min]
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 02/05/19: evening

    by , February 5th, 2019 at 11:08 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim-100 kick-200 pull [extra 100]
    4 x 50 quarter's strong
    100 non free

    2 x
    - 3 x 75 on 1:30 k-s-p [did 100s]
    - 3 x 75 on 1:20 pacing [did 100s]
    - on next top...4 x 50 on 1:00
    - Master's minute rest

    4 x 50 on 1:05 active recovery
    [Masters/Rec/2700 yds/55 min]
    A good workout tonight with a full pool. Lena knocked out 750yds on her own (she is amazing and doing so great in her 4th straight weekly practice) and I swam with Greg, Jim, Carol, Anne, and Sean. I was holding 1:20s on the first round of 75s and 1:15s on the second part consistently for each round of the main set.
    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 02/02/19: morning

    by , February 2nd, 2019 at 03:29 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    A good group today. We do not have pool time next Saturday and have the 1 hour swim in 2 weeks.

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [extra 200]
    2 x 50 breast
    2 x 50 back
    2 x 25 burst and cruise

    5 x 100 on 1:50 [I did 6 on 1:25]
    5 x 100 on 1:50 [I did 6 on 1:25] [Ground Hog Day special ]
    Test swim: 400 [did 5:12]
    5 x 50 on 1:00 [did backstroke - best average]
    100 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2900 yds/65 min]
    Swam with Greg, Jim, Libby, Kevin, Jeff, Anne, and a new swimmer named Colt. He is gearing up for an Ironman this summer and wants to improve his swim leg.
    Swim Workouts
  15. Workout 01/29/19: evening

    by , January 29th, 2019 at 10:54 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Another big storm is setting aim on our region and I thought that only my wife and I would be at practice, but Carol came as well.

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

    bunch of 300's [all on 1:40/100 pace] ...
    1 x 300 [did 350]
    2 x 150 [did 200's]
    3 x 100 [did extra 25 on first two]
    4 x 75 [did extra 25 on first two]
    6 x 50

    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2750 yds/50 min]
    Swim Workouts
  16. Workout 01/27/19: afternoon

    by , January 27th, 2019 at 08:58 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Rare Sunday swim for me. The Rec is only open on Sundays during the winter months and with nothing on the agenda today after work I headed to the pool. To my surprise the usual moshpit was absent and I was able to split the lane for the whole swim. I did the workout the team did yesterday.

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

    6 x 125 on :15sr [25 fr/75 dps/25 no free]
    1 x 100 pull

    Test swim: 1 x 200 on goal OHS pace
    [2:30 = 4800 yds, I did 2:28. I am aiming for 4500yds in the OHS this year]

    100 kick
    14 x 25 on :30 [odd fr fast/even choice]
    4 x 50 active recovery
    [Solo/Rec/2300 yds/45 min]

    Updated January 28th, 2019 at 07:50 AM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  17. 01/22/19: evening

    by , January 22nd, 2019 at 10:43 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [extra 150]
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    pacing set: all on 1:40/100 pace [3600yd OHS goal]

    4 x 75 k-s-p on 1:30 [did extra 50]
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2300 yds/55 min]

    Good swim with Greg, Matt and Carol. I tweaked my shoulder shoveling last week so I didn't swim the main set on a 1:30 interval. My wife also joined us in the water with her own program that she is working on. She is doing a super job!
    Swim Workouts
  18. Workout 01/19/19: morning

    by , January 19th, 2019 at 01:47 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Still on a 50's kick lately...

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [extra 100]
    2 x 25 burst and cruise
    2 x 50 breast
    1 x 50 kick
    2 x 50 back
    41 x 50 on 1:00 [did 4 x 75, 2 x 50 kick, 2 x 50 back, then 41]
    100 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/3550 yds/70 min]
    Good workout with Greg, Jeff, Kevin and Libby. The 41 is in honor of my birthday yesterday. Now to get ready for an 80's Dance Party at one of our local breweries with my wife tonight as the big snowstorm barrels in for the weekend.
    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 01/15/19: evening

    by , January 15th, 2019 at 10:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Good swim tonight made great because my wife decided to swim! She has a workout goal and I did my best to be supportive, and I noticed that she swam even more than she had planned on!

    200 swim/100 back/200 pull (did extra 200)
    4 x 100 quarters strong

    4 x 75 ksp (did 4 on 1:15, 50 extra)
    6 x 150 on 2:45 (did 200s)
    4 x 25 on :30
    200 loosen
    [Masters/Rec/2950yds/55 min]
    Working on pacing with Greg, Jim and Carol.
    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 01/12/19: morning

    by , January 12th, 2019 at 02:34 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I helped do a special coaching session with the high school swim team yesterday that consisted of butterfly technique development and flip turns. Once a year I try to help them out and the kids are generally receptive to having someone hop in the water and show them the correct way to do things. I swam about five hundred yards during the course of the hour along with the kids. Today the Masters group worked on preparing for the one hour swim which we will do in 5 weeks.

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull (extra 200)
    4 x 50 burst and cruise

    2 x (2 x 25 stroke lesson, 3 x 50 stroke)
    -- backstroke 1st round, breaststroke 2nd)

    8 x 100 on hour swim pace + 10sr
    (I did 10 on 1:30, holding 1:15)

    4 x 25 on :30
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2600 yds/75 min]

    A good workout with Greg, Jim, Jeff, Melissa, Kevin, Libby, and Mary. I was planning to hold 1:20s on the 100s so next time I do it I will shoot for 1:25 interval.
    Swim Workouts
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