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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 01/11/16: evening

    by , January 11th, 2016 at 10:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    3 x (with snorkel):
    - 100 kick with AK
    - 150 swim with AP (50 each: both, right, left hand)
    - 100 pull with buoy

    200 as odds = easy, evens = FAST imo
    200 pull fast with buoy and snorkel
    100 easy
    2 x 25 FAST
    100 loosen and out
    (Rec/Solo/2200 yds/45 min)

    Busy weekend at work, but I was able to hit the gym for elliptical yesterday. Today was my short day and I relaxed a bit this afternoon before supper and a swim. I was surprised by the Masters crew over the New Year with gift, which I used to purchase the TomTom Spark a entry-level gps watch that has swim tracking. Greg was at the pool and gave me some pointers as I used it for the first time in the water. I will write up a separate review after a few more sessions in the pool.
    Tags: tomtom
    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 01/06/16: evening

    by , January 6th, 2016 at 08:42 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Hit the gym on Monday night for 20 minutes on the elliptical. Today at lunch Lena and I went to the high school for lunch with Preston's culinary class, here's a peek ...

    After school Preston and I went to watch the new Star Wars movie, his first time seeing one. I haven't watched them since the original three as a kid, which I guess are now #4-6. I have always been a fan of the music score.

    Swim tonight before supper ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    2 x (100 kick with AK, 150 with AP, 100 pull) continuous with snorkel
    50 easy
    4 x 50 fast on :05sr
    150 pull with snorkel
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1800 yds/35 min)

    Lena found a recipe for lasagna rolls that I put together earlier and just need to bake - looks delicious.

    Updated January 12th, 2016 at 09:27 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  3. Workout 01/02/16: morning

    by , January 2nd, 2016 at 01:13 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I enjoyed a quiet day off for the New Year with the family [the new Sherlock on PBS was great last night] and prepared for Masters practice this morning, after grabbing breakfast with my son. With our max time of 90 minutes I have been talking up 50 x 50's and we had a good crew come out today. I brought some tunes to play during the swim to keep everyone on track, and Greg was the keeper of the tally...

    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
    2 x 25 drill [things to think about during the swim]

    50 x ? on 1 minute
    [all choice, 25/50/75, drill or toys optional]
    I did 30 x 75s, 20 x 50s for a total of 3250 yds

    200 loosen and out [I did 300]
    [Masters/Rec/4000 yds/75 min]

    A great challenge set for our group as the main set is over what we typically swim in an hour's practice, and everyone made it! I swam with Greg and Robert, Meg and Kevin were in the middle lane, and Rachel and Melissa were in the far near lane (remember that the Rec is a 6 lane pool set with just two lines). I used the snorkel, pulled and used Agility Paddles along with some stroke 25's during the 75's, and kicked and full strokes during the 50's. Everyone did a great job counting down the number of swims and encouraging each other throughout, and the crew surprised me with a card and gift after the swim. It's amazing how much swimming with the team pushes me to swim more and I think that it helps others to do the same. I am really proud that we all rocked this challenge, and am looking forward to seeing how everyone does with the One Hour Swim at the end of the month.

    Updated January 2nd, 2016 at 05:44 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 12/29/15: evening

    by , December 29th, 2015 at 09:27 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I finished out with physical therapy yesterday and have been happy with the results. I am still using the kenesio tape and my homework exercises, and also purchased an Ankle Board that was developed by my PT for strengthening every muscle from the toe to the lower back. He had a used model that I was able to get at a discount so I will be able to continue this work at home. Here is what it looks like (a little unassuming but a great tool):

    Today I made it to the pool with the Masters crew, borrowing one of the main sets that TxTim posted earlier

    200 free/100 kick/100 pull [did an extra 100]
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    3 x
    - 2 x 50 on 1
    - 1 x 100 on 2
    - 2 x 50 on
    - 1 x 200 on 4 pull
    [used snorkel on all 200s, first round with AP, back on 50s with 100 IM on second, fly on 50's on third round

    300 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2400 yds/60 min]

    Shared the pain with Greg, Matt, Jim and Beth. Tim was on his own. A great workout. Since my knee is doing better I am planning to add in more kicking, as well as continue using the bike and elliptical a couple of times a week. It has been nice hitting the gym with my son again.

    Last night our region had the first snow storm of the year, which was more of a mixed bag with snow, sleet, ice, and rain. It turns out that it broke a record for the latest first snow of the year and also marked 272 days (March 31st) since the last snow fall, which is second longest stretch of days (first place is 275) in history since they started tracking these things in October of 1884. That meant that I was able to get some drylands in this morning as I shoveled the walkway and end of the driveway.

    Updated December 29th, 2015 at 10:16 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  5. Workout 12/23/15: evening

    by , December 23rd, 2015 at 08:03 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    We've been busy for the past two days at work, and I am now off through Christmas. Monday night we tried out a new restaurant in town, Two Brews. It is set up similar to Chipotle and I needed a little help with ordering, but the food was good and we enjoyed a great late night dinner together before Emma headed back to Philly yesterday. This morning I went to PT and then did some errands, opting for a swim this evening ...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    5 x 200 with snorkel [two pull with buoy, two with buoy and AP, kick]
    50 easy
    build a 100 IM [went 1:13 - first time doing breaststroke in a while)
    50 easy
    100 pull
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2400 yds/45 min)

    Relaxing for the night, with an episode of Seinfeld featuring Festivus, and now the cartoon version of Grinch!
    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 12/19/15: morning

    by , December 19th, 2015 at 12:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Had an easy swim before PT yesterday, 1500 yds in about 30 minutes, nothing too grand.
    Emma came home in the late evening for a visit so we are doing Christmas this weekend - so great to see her.

    Masters this morning after cinnamon buns with the family...

    We did our year-end workout inspired by Rudolph and the Grinch - I was able to get in an extra 200 on warmup, did all fly and an extra 50 on each of the Grinch's Lament (2:10 interval), and an extra 50 at the end of the Reindeer games (went 1:03, 1:02 on the 100's free, and did back for the 50's :33->31). With the help of the guard Greg, Kevin and I sang the Twelve Days of Christmas during the Reprise. A fun workout!

    This afternoon is our annual family party with Lena and my siblings, then we are planning to drive over to Albany for the Lights in the Park display that they do each year.

    Updated December 20th, 2015 at 09:32 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: christmas
    Swim Workouts
  7. Workout 12/15/15: evening

    by , December 15th, 2015 at 10:25 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I enjoyed a nice day off today, starting with breakfast out with my wife. This afternoon was a quiet one, and I was ready for the Masters work out tonight.

    200 swim 100 kick 100 pull (did extra 200)
    4 x 50 quarter's strong on :60
    100 easy no free

    1 x 400 as 150 swim, 50 kick (I pulled and skulled, extra 100)
    4 x 100 on 2:00 descend (did 150s with snorkel and AP)
    6 x 75 on :15sr kick (I skulled) swim pull (did extra 50)
    10 x 25 on :40 odds easy evrns fast
    100 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/2850 yds/60 min)
    A solid swim with Greg and Carol, as Matt, Tim, and Julie did their own swim. As a team we are working to order in our first coordinated swimsuits with caps, something that appears to be easier in planning than in execution. Pics to come...
    Swim Workouts
  8. 12/13/15: dry

    by , December 13th, 2015 at 05:57 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    PT progressing with knee, with therapist twice a week and homework every night. Hit the gym tonight after work for

    15 min elliptical 1.3 miles
    10 min bike 2.8 miles

    Hot tub before the Pats tonight
  9. Workout 12/10/15: noon

    by , December 10th, 2015 at 06:33 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The pump arrived late yesterday and was installed overnight, so the pool is back open! The water is a delightful 81 degrees (usually it is ~85) and the adult swim time was packed!

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    5 x 200 on :15sr [snorkel on first four, alt pull and AP with buoy. Back on last[]
    10 x 50 on :45 pull free
    10 x 25 on :10sr pull [evens imo, odds fast free]
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/2550 yds/45 min)

    A hearty "swim fast" to all those hitting up New England SCM champs this weekend, as well as any other events. I'll be following along from swimphone when I get home from work.
    Swim Workouts
  10. 12/09/15

    by , December 9th, 2015 at 06:26 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Day three of no pool access due to a pool pump failure. I decided to attempt land exercises this morning...

    15 min elliptical (one mile)
    15 min stationary bike (three and a half miles)

    My wife joined me for lunch at the high school, where my son and the rest of the culinary program host a meal each week. Delicious!
  11. Workout 12/05/15: morning

    by , December 5th, 2015 at 05:38 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Skipped swimming yesterday as I started PT, joined my son at school to eat at the Culinary classes' Bistro lunch that is put on weekly (my first trip), and then I used the rest of the day to relax around the house.

    This morning Preston and I joined up with the guys for breakfast and then I headed into Masters practice. As I was writing out the workout I helped on of the little kids on diving - she was fine off the wall and a step they use, but froze when diving off the blocks. I offered a couple of suggestions and by the time I had changed for the swim she was diving for the first time! Always great to have that connection with my old t

    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull [I did 200 swim and 300 pull]
    4 x 25 drill [working on 6 beat kick "raspberry/strawberry"]

    16 x 100 [Matt and I did 150's]
    1 on 2:30, 4 on 2:20 [snorkel and pull]
    1 on 2:40, 3 on 2:10 [snorkel and pull]
    1 on 2:50, 2 on 2:00 [snorkel]
    1 on 3:10, 1 on 1:50 [snorkel and pull]
    1 on 3:30, 1 FAST for time [snorkel, went 1:37]

    200 loosen and out
    (Masters/Rec/3200 yds/65 min)

    This is a challenging main set that seems pretty boring at the start but knocks out almost a mile fairly quickly. The 1x swims in the left column are recovery swims, and the swims in the right column are stronger, even split but faster each round.

    Off to enjoy the rest of the weekend!
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 12/01/15: evening

    by , December 1st, 2015 at 09:24 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I was able to participate in today's special music at Chapel for the college - played drums during a bluegrass set. I have also been finishing up on a paper and presentation for my class on Thursday.

    Tonight's swim with the team:

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull (did 700 swim/pull)
    4 x 50 on 1:15 descend 1 -> 4

    3 x
    - 100 choice on :20sr
    - 50 Build up on :15sr
    - 50 Build down on :10sr
    - 2 x 25 FAST on :05sr

    2 x 75 on 2:00 (swim/kick/pull)
    filming 50's (I did 50)
    4 min choice warmdown
    (Masters/Rec/1850 yds/50 min)
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 11/30/15: Evening

    by , November 30th, 2015 at 07:45 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Back to work today and quite busy trying to clear out the backlog from last week's day off for the holiday. I am happy that it is my short week! Swim tonight after a light dinner...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill/100 drill
    2 x Noah's Ark with snorkel and buoy (used AP on #2)
    200 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1900 yds/30 min)

    I finally visited an ortho doc to check out my knee (no major joint issues), and have been prescribed some PT over the next few weeks. Mostly overuse pain/soreness (due to a bone spur that has developed on the lateral aspect of the right patella) that has lingered for a while now, but I wanted to get it evaluated before next year's deductibles kick in. I plan to pull more see if that helps as well.
    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 11/28/15: morning

    by , November 28th, 2015 at 12:24 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    No shopping yesterday, just a fair amount of relaxing with the family. Make breakfast for the kiddos before swim this morning:

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

    The Turducken Workout for me - various 250's for the group...
    Turducken set: A turducken is a turkey that is stuffed with a duck, which in turn has been stuffed with a chicken. Ive never tasted one, but I feel like Ive 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.
    Some easy 50's before taping again underwater
    Flip turn fun
    (Masters/Rec/2200 yds/75 min)

    I love the Turducken set from Swimsuit Addict and still feel like the 2 x 50's fly in the last round are the toughest. This marks my fifth year of doing this!

    Planning to send Emma off this afternoon before heading down to Williams College for a hockey game with my boy.

    Updated November 29th, 2015 at 06:28 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts , LT sets
  15. Workout 11/27/15: noon

    by , November 27th, 2015 at 08:28 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Enjoyed a quiet Thanksgiving with visits to my mother-in-law and my brother's house with the family. Quick swim at lunch today before we put up Christmas decorations - a beautiful day here in VT!

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

    4 x 200 on 3:00
    - first 50 hard stroke IMO, followed by 150 DPS

    100 and out
    (Solo/Rec/2200 yds/35 min)
    Swim Workouts
  16. Workout 11/24/15: evening

    by , November 24th, 2015 at 09:18 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
  17. Workout 11/23/15: morning

    by , November 23rd, 2015 at 01:16 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
  18. Workout 11/21/15: morning

    by , November 21st, 2015 at 03:18 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
  19. Workout 11/20/15: morning

    by , November 20th, 2015 at 10:14 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.

    Updated December 3rd, 2018 at 07:51 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 11/17/15: morning

    by , November 17th, 2015 at 08:23 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
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