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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 01/08/19: evening

    by , January 8th, 2019 at 10:00 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Jeff couldn't make it on Saturday so we did our 50x50 again tonight. I did the same...

    we did our annual 50 x 50s on :60.

    I did...
    300 warm-up
    :60 swims as:
    5 x (4 x75, then 3 pairs of 50s: kick, back, free)
    Extra 50
    [Masters/Rec/3350 yds/60 min]
    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 01/05/19: morning

    by , January 5th, 2019 at 10:44 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    First practice of the new year for my Masters group and we did our annual 50 x 50s on :60.

    I did...
    400 warm-up
    :60 swims as:
    5 x (4 x75, then 3 pairs of 50s: kick, back, free)
    Extra 50 at the end.
    [Masters/Rec/3450 yds/60 min]

    Everybody looks forward to this workout each January, and my game plan was to up the yardage a little bit with the 75 and I was able to make it free to them throughout the set. As in years past, I set up my phone in a portable speaker so that we had some tunes blasting while waiting on the wall, this year I swam with Jim, Greg, Libby, Sean, Rebecca and Melissa.

    Updated January 6th, 2019 at 10:28 AM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  3. Workout 12/31/18: noon

    by , December 31st, 2018 at 04:18 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quiet couple of weeks due to work and holiday pool closures. I have been hitting an 80# punching bag with a 20min workout 3-4 times a week which seems to be helping my shoulders. Swim today at lunchtime...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    600 shark swim
    50 ez
    Build a 200 IM
    50 ez
    200 loosen and out
    [Sole/Rec/2500 yds/50 min]

    I went over 111 miles for the year which is twice as much as last year. I had some good swims at meets although not as many OW swims as I would have liked. Overall a good year...I'll take it!

    Updated January 2nd, 2019 at 10:22 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  4. Workout 12/22/18: morning

    by , December 22nd, 2018 at 09:47 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Morning swim with a full pool...
    Masters this morning, and given the Yule Time season I thought that this fun workout posted this week to the USMS main page was would be a great one for the team. You can find it and other sets at:

    The Grinch Stole my Practice
    Fellow marathon swimmer and Turkey Trot (Not) participant, Bill Shipp of Mitchellville, Md., has a special 3,000-yard holiday-themed workout: a fun concoction of swimming and holiday references with lots of sprinting (bah humbug!).

    Chestnuts Roasting: 600 warm-up I did 700

    Grinchs Lament: Their mouths will hang open a minute or two, Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry, Boo Hoo! I did fly, others had stroke option

    5 x 100:
    25 fly, 75 free
    50 fly, 50 free
    75 fly, 25 free
    50 fly, 50 free
    25 fly, 75 free

    Reindeer Games, aka Speed Work: Coach Comet announces, My job is to make bucks out of you.

    1 x 100 all out on 3:00
    2 x 50 all out on 1:30
    1 x 100 all out on 3:00
    2 x 50 all out on 1:30

    When you feel like slowing down, just remember, Santas sleigh is moving at 650 miles per secondthats 3,000 times the speed of soundto deliver all those toys in one night. How fast are you going? Thats right, not fast enough. Keep going.

    Bumbles Bounce: Rudolph: But you fell off the edge of the cliff. Yukon Cornelius: Didnt I ever tell you about Bumbles? Bumbles bounce.

    Streamline push off the bottom. Butterfly kick out of the water as high as you can go. Hold it. Repeat 10 times.

    Grinch's Reprise: And what happened then...? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinchs small heart grew three sizes that day!

    300 social kick

    Coach Ebenezer Scrooges Set: If theyd rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population. Libby and Jeff did im, others just free

    1 x 400 IM (rest 5 seconds on each 25 fly)
    100 easy
    1 x 400 reverse IM (nothing says Scrooge like a 400 reverse IM)
    100 easy

    Joy to the World: Linus: And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, because the workout is over after this warm down!

    100 cool down
    [Masters/Rec/2900 yards/80 min]

    Swam with Greg, Jim, Libby, Kevin, Jeff, Rebecca, Mary, and Melissa. The Rec is closed on Mon and Tues this coming week so I swam a little more than uaual.
    Swim Workouts
  5. Workout 12/18/18: evening

    by , December 18th, 2018 at 09:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull (extra 150)
    100 (skull/swim)
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    8 x 50 on :10sr ~80% (+50 easy)
    50 kick into 50 pull
    6 x 50 on :15sr [1,6 = even split, 2-5 = quarter strong] (+50 easy)
    50 pull into 50 kick
    4 x 50 on :20sr best average (I did 2fr from push: 2:08.72)
    50 kick
    2 x 50 on :30sr FAST
    150 loosen and out (extra 50)
    (Masters/Rec/2400 yds/52 min)

    Just me and Greg at practice tonight. Trying to better sombre times for the virtual swim league in a few events over the next couple of weeks, although with work and pool closures I'm not sure how many I can redo.
    Swim Workouts
  6. Workout 12/11/18: evening

    by , December 11th, 2018 at 09:26 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [did extra 200]

    2 x
    - 1 x 250 on 5:00 [did 300s: 3:41, 3:36]
    - 3 x 100 on 2:00 even pace [did back]
    - 2 x 100 on 2:00 descend
    - 1 x 50 ez on 2:00
    [Masters/Rec/2400 yds/55 min]
    Still a bit sore from the meet on Saturday and decided that the last round of 100s would be the warmdown so we could have some sauna time.
    Swim Workouts
  7. Meet: 12/08/18: New England LMSC/Colonies Zones SCM Champs

    by , December 8th, 2018 at 08:39 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I had a good night's sleep and checked into the meet online before heading down to swim during day 2 of the New England scm champs. I was able to get two guys from my workout group to join me and it worked out that our college guy Noah picked me up and drove to meet Greg who drove the rest of the way to the meet. Worcester, MA, is about 2.5 hours from home and since my first event wasn't scheduled until 12:30ish we were able to not feel too rushed driving down.

    Once at the pool we found our buddies from the Pittsfield Y and Simon's Rock teams to sit with and I got in for warmups. Did my 1200 standard in the scy side of the pool that was available for warmup/down throughout the meet while the women swam the 400 free. I felt good and decided against swimming any extra before my first race:

    event 12: 50 fly - 30.28
    - I had a solid swim although I hoped to get under 30. My start underwaters were not great but I nailed them off the turn. Happy with the swim.

    At this point there was a scheduled 30 minute break, so I hopped into the competition pool and swam 700 meters including a few sprints to play with the backstroke wedges, which I only see at these championship meets. I also ate half of a PBJ sandwich I brought along. I didn't warm up again before swimming:

    event 14: 200 back - 2:27.59
    37.21 (1:12.09)
    38.04 (1:15.50)
    Super excited to come in under 2:30, and this time was 4 seconds faster than last year! I stuck to my plan of starting strong then building into the second 50 before attacking the last 100, and aside from dying a bit at the end I felt like I executed the plan well. My underwaters are not the greatest due to lack of endurance so there is room for improvement there. Should hold up for a Top Ten time. Did 300yds and got on deck to watch Noah and Greg in the 50 free and barely catch my breath for my swim:

    event 16: 50 free - 27.69
    Tired but pumped to get under 28. I was probably a little too conservative on the first lap but locked down for the finish. Hopped in for 400y warmdown and then rested leading into the 400 MR. I have a long shot at making TT in the 100 back and we were able to get help from Pittsfield by having Jack swim with us (although the points didn't count since we are different workout groups). The order was Mike, Greg, Jack, Noah and we all had a fun time swimming in a relay!

    event 24: 400 MR (100 back split) - 1:08.30
    I was aiming to get under 1:10 and felt strong and in control during the entire swim. I employed my strong/build/fast/fast strategy and was able to hit my underwaters at 8/7/5/4 - less than I wanted on the last two walls. We came in at 5:09 and had a great time.

    I finished off with 400 yards warmdown and we headed back to VT. I am a bit sore but really happy to have not only swam well myself but also share in the experience with some of my teammates. Some monster swims were thrown down on both the mens and womens side - swim phone results here:

    My 200 back here (outside smoke in the green cap):

    Updated December 10th, 2018 at 10:47 AM by rxleakem

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  8. Workout 12/06/18: noon

    by , December 6th, 2018 at 10:40 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Easy 15 minute swim today to keep stretched out for Saturday's meet. I'm working all day tomorrow so I took a longer lunch today to get wet...

    600 warm-up
    300 kick drill by 50
    100 loosen

    No sprints today.
    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 12/04/18: evening

    by , December 4th, 2018 at 09:22 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    300 swim/100 kick/200 pull

    2 x
    - 25 ez, 25 build, 50 DPS
    - 25 Fast into 75 ez
    - 75 ez, :10sr, 25 fast

    5 deep water bobs
    4 x 25 burst and cruise on 1:00
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/1500 yds/45 min]
    Taper workout #5. Good swim with Matt, Greg, Noah, Carol, and Jim. All set for swimming at New Englands this Saturday, 50 free and fly plus a 200 back kicker. We are trying to find a fourth swimmer to have a 400 MR. My speed is not where I would like it to be and my endurance for the 200 back isn't superb, but I am looking forward to a fun day of racing.
    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 12/02/18: afternoon

    by , December 2nd, 2018 at 07:02 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Another quick swim this afternoon after work and leading the nursing home service at one of the local facilities (I do this the first Sunday of every month)...

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill

    3 x
    - 50 DPS, :10 sr
    - 25 fast into 25 easy
    - 100 kick

    4 x 50 burst and cruise
    4 x 50 as 25 fast into 25 easy
    150 loosen and out
    [Solo/Rec/1750 yds/37 min]
    Taper workout #3... I try to get 6 taper workouts in over 2 weeks, but this time around I will only get in 5. Feeling strong in the water.
    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 11/30/18: evening

    by , November 30th, 2018 at 07:42 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    A quick swim...

    200 free
    200 back
    200 im drill

    700 shark swim
    4 x 100 (fast 2nd lap)
    200 loosen and out
    [Solo/Rec/1900 yds/35 min]
    Swim Workouts
  12. Tues 11/27/18: evening

    by , November 27th, 2018 at 09:05 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [extra 100]

    3 x 150 on 2:45 [did 200's]
    4 x 75 on 1:30 [I kicked]

    Leslie's Livingston "Fort Speed Set":
    1 x 25 Fast
    1 x 50 ez
    1 x 50 Fast
    2 x 50 ez
    1 x 75 Fast
    3 x 50 ez
    1 x 100 build to fast [1:00.5]
    4 x 50 ez [and out]
    [Masters/Rec/2150 yds/55 min]
    Taper workout #2 with Greg, Noah, and Matt.
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 11/24/18: morning

    by , November 24th, 2018 at 08:27 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Today was Turducken Day, courtesy of swimsuit addict!

    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.
    I had to leave practice early so besides the main set I put a 600 yard warmup and 200 to loosen out. This a fun and challenging set that I bring back every year. The team did a 250's (mixing 100/50/100 with swim/kick/pull) and I only did 1-arm fly this year. Total for me was 2200 yds in 40 minutes.
    Tags: turducken
    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 11/20/18: evening

    by , November 20th, 2018 at 10:19 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 free/50 non-free/100 kick/250 pull [extra 200]/100 non-free

    4 x 100 Quarters Strong on 1:30
    4 x 75 k-s-p on 1:15 [IMO on swim, fast]
    4 x 50 burst and cruise on :50
    4 x 25 fast on :40

    300 with every 3rd lap choice non-free
    [Masters/Rec/2200 yds/45 min]

    I was the only one at practice tonight so I missed the push that swimming with the team provides, although the clock ticking away kept me honest. The pool will be closed Thurs and Friday but I plan to be at practice on Saturday.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
    Swim Workouts
  15. Workout 11/17/18: morning

    by , November 17th, 2018 at 08:13 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    100 swim/100 choice warmup [plus an extra 50]

    P ull 100-75-50-25 [extra 50]
    U can kick 2 x 25
    M oderate 2 x 150 on 2:45 [did 200's]
    P ull 100-75-50-25 [extra 50]
    K ick 2 x 50
    I M drill 2 x 100
    N egative split 200 [missed it: +1]

    S print 4 x 25
    P ull 100-75-50-25 [extra 50]
    I M drill 100
    C hoice 100
    Ez 150
    [Masters/Rec/2550 yds/65 min]

    Fun fall workout that we do every year.
    Swim Workouts
  16. Workout 11/13/18: evening

    by , November 13th, 2018 at 10:08 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [plus 200]
    4 x 50 even pace choice

    10 x 100 on 2:00 [did 125's]
    - even pace in pair, descend by pairs

    4 x 75 kick-swim-pull on 1:30
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2650/60 min]

    I've come down with an autumnal viral infection targeting my sinuses. I took off Saturday and have been focused on getting rest, taking it easy on the 125's instead of trying to crank out 150's. Hope this passes soon.
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 11/06/18: evening

    by , November 6th, 2018 at 09:41 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    2 x [150 swim/50 kick/100 pull] + 200 extra

    9 x 100 on 2:00 [did 125's, with 25 extra at the end]
    1-3 even, 4-6 descend, 7-9 even pace

    4 x 75 K-S-P on 1:30 [did 4 on 1:15, then 50 easy]
    200 loosen and out
    Sauna time!
    [Masters/Rec/2450 yds/45 min]
    Starting to come down with my annual fall head cold - hope it passes more quickly than in previous years.
    Swim Workouts
  18. Workout 10/30/18: evening

    by , October 30th, 2018 at 09:41 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Spooky workout again!

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [plus 200]
    4 x 50 Quarters Strong

    2 x Spooky set:
    Swim 100 build on :10sr
    Pull 100 even pace on :15sr
    Only breathe to the right x 75 yds
    Only breathe to the left x 75 yds
    Kick for 50 yds
    Yeah - Masters minute rest!

    4 x 100 even pace on 2:00 [did 125's]
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2400 yds/55 min]
    Fun workout, made all the sweeter by left over candy from the age group team!
    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 10/27/18: morning

    by , October 27th, 2018 at 05:22 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    #WorldSwimDay modified Poseidon's Challenge -

    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull [extra 200]
    4 x 50 Quarters Strong

    3 x 100 on 2:00
    4 x 50 on 1:00 [I kicked]
    5 x 75 on 1:30 [did 100's]
    6 x 50 on 1:05 choice

    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2500 yds/60 min]
    Good workout from the folks at My Swim Pro. We had a full pool with Noah, Greg, Rebecca, Kevin, and Libby.
    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 10/23/18: evening

    by , October 23rd, 2018 at 09:33 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull (plus extra 200)
    4 x 75 k-s-p on 1:40 (did 6 on 1:15)
    8 x 100 on 2:15 (did 150s)
    - 1 to 4 even pace
    - 5 to 6 faster
    - 7 to 8 even pace

    4 x 25 kick together
    4 x 25 build
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2750 yds/60 min]

    A good swim with Greg, Noah, Carol, Sean, Anne, and Carol.
    Swim Workouts
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