View RSS Feed

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 03/24/18: morning

    by , March 24th, 2018 at 06:04 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Full pool today for Masters, a good sign since we are two weeks out from our mini meet!

    2 x [150 swim/50 kick/100 pull] plus 100 easy
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    1 x Noah's Ark [finished at 6:40, did an extra 100 easy]

    4 x
    - 50 pull on 1:00
    - 25 FAST into 25 easy
    - 100 choice [worked on back and breast]

    200 loosen and out, with some starts thrown in. [I did 100 w/d]
    [Masters/Rec/2300 yds/65 min]

    Good swim with Greg, Libby, Kim, Sean, Dedrick, and Kevin. Entries have been slowly coming in for our meet, and it looks like (perhaps) the snow is done!
    Swim Workouts
  2. Workout 03/20/18: evening

    by , March 20th, 2018 at 10:36 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Stiff from the long weekend of swimming at Harvard, but happy to get back into the water for practice tonight. Just Greg and I were at the pool.

    300 swim 200 pull 100 kick [extra 100 here]

    8 x 125 on :20sr (25 kick, 75 build, 25 pull)
    -2min interval 1-6 mixing free/back, 2:10 with im on last 2

    100 easy
    100 kick
    4 x 50 from blocks
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2300 yds/55 min]

    Updated March 21st, 2018 at 10:27 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  3. 03/16-18/2018: New England scy Champs

    by , March 18th, 2018 at 09:11 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Back from a fun weekend of racing in Boston at the annual Harvard meet. With my schedule allowing, I was able to swim all three days of the main meet this year (as opposed to driving down for the day as I have been doing in the recent past). That third big snowstorm didn't materialize here in our area, but in trying to more more wood pellets from the basement to the living room (so my daughter didn't have to while the rest of us went on the trip) I tweaked my back on Wednesday, to the point that it was painful to bend over to tie my shoes. I was able to make it to Masters on Tuesday for a warmup and some burst and cruise swims, but wasn't able to make it back to the pool before the meet. We made the 3 hour drive to Boston on Friday morning in time for event check-in...


    100 Free: 53.94 - 3rd (26.33, 27.71)
    -- This was the first event and my back was still tight, even after warmups. I popped a 24.6 at the New Year's meet in January, so these splits seem right on. I need to work the 2nd wall more for a faster 3rd lap when I swim this next. I didn't attack the walls due to the back tightness.

    50 Fly: 27.10 - 5th
    - My start was good and my stroke felt long and powerful. The turn was good, but I need to get some more sdk's in. I was short to the wall and decided to glide...probably should have taken an extra quick stroke.

    100 Back: 1:00.93 - 2nd (29.89, 31.04)
    - I opted not to use the backstroke ledges since I have no experience with them (other than a YouTube video that I watched online). The splits were good, but each wall was horrible and I did not reach my sdk counts. It probably didn't help that I was being conservative as to not agrivate my back. I think I can get back under a minute, especially if I take it out a little faster.

    [My warmup in the regular pool was 1200 yds, and I did a total of 26 laps in the 29yd diving well lanes between events and for warmdown] After my day in the pool was complete we drove into Harvard Square to fart around and grab a late lunch before heading to the hotel to relax.

    50 Breast: 25.23 - 4th
    - On of these days I will make good on my threat to actually learn to swim this stroke more efficiently (and hopefully faster), but I swam this mostly to get a time for the Flow Swimmers online event that I signed up for. I really worked the walls and tried to get through the event without having my knee protest, and I accomplished both goals.

    200 Back: 2:14.88 - 2nd (31.58, 34.45, 34.54, 34.31)
    - I wanted to get under 2:15 and I did with a beautifully split race (1:06.03, 1:08:85)! So I did a sprint during warmups to try the ledge, and was in lane one. I remember telling my wife that lane was horrible because the flags only reached halfway across the lane. Of course that set me up to swim in lane 1! Anyways, I took it out without much legs and built into it as I planned. The turns were better (as my back was not as sore) and I am I really happy with the swim. I missed swimming with my buddy Trent from RI, but did run into Doug who came down from Maine for the day.

    [Warmups of 1600 yds, plus an additional 18 laps in the big lane between events and for warmdown]. We drove over near BU and picked up a guitar that my son was looking at online before heading back to the hotel to drop off the car. I made reservations online for Hard Rock and we took the T into the city, battleing the drunken St. Patty's Day crowds and pub-crawls. I am happy I made reservations because we bypassed the huge line and were seated and served a lot faster that I expected. After a little shopping we went back to the hotel and vegged out, except for a little walk my son and I took in search for some cookies before bed.

    50 Back: 27.10 - 2nd
    - I used the ledges again and tried to not stay under as long as I usually do on the second lap. While I wanted to get under 27, I am really happy with this time as I find it so difficult to sprint anything.

    100 IM: 1:02.17 - 3rd (27.22, 34.95)
    - Back in lane 1 and I did my usual out fast then lose it all on breast. I wanted to get under 1:03 and did, beating my time from January. Oh well, this is a top 3 fastest time in the event in my lifetime so I am happy.

    [Warmups of 1300 yards and 22 laps in the big lane between events and for warmdown] After the swims we watched Donna, an 84-year young lady from Maine, crush the 200 fly before driving home.

    Total swimming:
    Warmups: 4100 yds
    Racing: 650 yds
    Warmdown: 1914 yds (66 laps in the well)

    - I aged up to the 40-44 group and swam my 100th race as a Masters swimmer with this meet. I have written before that I swam here as an age-grouper and feel blessed with the chance to swim here now. I am amazed to see the certificates from David Berkoff hanging on the walls behind the stands and to take in the brand new score board this year. It is just awesome for me to swim here. It is a very well run meet, this year having more than 650 swimmers, and great folks behing the blocks timing, reffing, and working to make sure everything runs smoothly.
    - My wife and son made the trip. It is funny that in the locker room so many guys talked about their families not being on board to coming to watch. It is a boring meet, even for us swimmers, so I know how our families must feel. Even so, it means a lot to me to see my wife in the stands and know that she is cheering me on.
    - Based on above, I tried to plan my swims so that I wasn't swimming in the first "distance" events of the day, pick back to back events, and avoid sitting at the pool all day. I accomplished that goal! Trying to then plan on when to warm up, try to get in some sprints from the blocks once the main competition pool is open, and then follow the estimated timeline takes some thought. I was able to get on deck before check-ins closed (no online option with this meet) and had some down time between events to not only hang out with my family but check in with my swimming buddies. I even met Guy from a facebook swimgroup and we checked in throughout the meet, even racing side by side in the 100 IM - he touched me out! Dan from Pittsfield aged up to 70 and was breaking lmsc records all weekend long...he might even be gunning from more at our meet in a few weeks.
    - Swimming-wise, I am satisfied with my efforts and performances. After feeling like crap after the WPI scm meet in December, I have committed to swim more Tuesday night practices and the every other Saturday swims that my work schedule allows for. Like Ande has said, I need to stop lugging around this extra 10-15 points which will help make me faster in and of itself. I think that as the weather gets warmer I will be able to get back on the bike and schedule some 5k's to help with overall fitness and weight management. I also need to be more proactive with shoulder and knee exercises as both issues have not been too bothersome, although the long meet has reminded me of them. I also need to figure out breastroke.

    Well, that's a wrap from Harvard. I'm really pleased with the meet and the opportunity to get some racing in after all the hours of training.

    Updated March 19th, 2018 at 09:17 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: harvard
    Masters Swim Meets / Events , Planning
  4. Monday 03/12/18: evening

    by , March 12th, 2018 at 09:13 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Well, looks like Nor'easter #3 in less than two weeks is due to come in overnight and continue through Wednesday. I have had a slight head cold return so I am not feeling the best, so with the expected 12+ again (we had 9 inches 3/2 and 13 inches 3/8) and more shoveling I not only expect the Rec to close tomorrow for regular practice but I'll also have more drylands coming! It always seems like when I have a meet coming up I have to shovel or rake! hahaha

    Tonight's taper-ish workout solo at the Rec...
    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    4 x 100 (50 kick, 50 pull)
    4 x 100 [25 easy, 25 fast (rotate strokes), 50 easy]
    200 loosen and out
    [Solo/Rec/1600 yds/40 min]

    Hotel booked for Harvard meet this weekend. Will drive down before events start on Friday, swim 7 events over the weekend, and drive home Sunday evening. I am in my long stretch at work so no chance before the meet to swim outside of practice tomorrow night, so I am hoping that practice is a go!
    Swim Workouts
  5. Workout 03/06/18: evening

    by , March 6th, 2018 at 10:52 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Masters tonight, after snow storm number 1 and impending storm number 2...lots of shoveling to keep my cardio up

    200 free/100 kick/200 pull

    6 x 75 on 1:15 (1-4: rotate IM, 5-6 free)
    1 x 50 easy
    8 x 50 FR on 1:10 (odds DPS, evens fast)
    1 x 50 easy
    8 x 50 bk on 1:10 (odds DPS, evens fast)
    1 x 50 easy
    6 x 25 burst and cruise on 1:00
    3 x 50 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2300 yds/60 min]

    One of my taper workouts as New England LMSC champs are approaching. My pacing felt good on the 50's. I'm not really confident about where my training is at this point, but since I have the weekend off I decided to enter all three days but keep to the lower yardage events and not a whole lot of them! For Harvard I will be swimming:

    14 Men 100 SCY Free
    16 Men 50 SCY Fly
    18 Men 100 SCY Back
    28 Men 50 SCY Breast
    30 Men 200 SCY Back
    44 Men 50 SCY Back
    46 Men 100 SCY IM

    Now to book a hotel and hope that we don't get a blizzard during the meet like we did at New England age group champs back in 1993!
    Swim Workouts
  6. 02/27/18: One Hour Swim

    by , February 27th, 2018 at 09:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Hopped into the pool for the One Hour Swim again this year, which will help to add yardage to parent team New England Masters and knock off three events for the Flow Swimmers league.

    Tonight I was able to make it to 4000 yards, working a steady pace and adding progressively more kick and stroke work as the hour went on. It is a nice event to do every year. I will time for the team this coming Saturday.

    Previous years...
    2017: 4025
    2016: 4393
    2015: 4257
    2014: 4560
    2013: 4565
    2012: 4275
    2011: 3800

    Updated March 5th, 2018 at 09:12 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: ohs
    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  7. Workout 02/25/18: afternoon

    by , February 25th, 2018 at 05:22 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Work life is bonkers as I'm halfway through a ten day stretch and we're getting a new computer system installed as I write. While these never go well, I'm staying optimistic... at least if I can sign on in the morning! Hit the pool for:

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    600 shark swim
    100 easy
    4 x 100 quarter's strong on 1:25 (goal 1:10)
    100 easy
    8 x 25 on :30 (odd chiice even fast)
    200 loosen and out
    [Solo/Rec/2200 yds/40 min]
    Swim Workouts
  8. Workout 02/20/18: evening

    by , February 20th, 2018 at 10:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I've been out of the water for a little bit, due to a biological incident at the pool, and work. I'm still looking at the Harvard meet in about a month as well as our local meet in the beginning of April for some fun racing.

    Today's workout had a repeating progressive distance set, and some fast 25s, totalling 2500 all together.

    This past weekend my wife and I explored Cape Ann in Massachusetts...

    Rockport, MA.

    Gloucester, MA

    Updated February 21st, 2018 at 01:07 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  9. Workout 02/06/18: evening

    by , February 6th, 2018 at 09:04 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim-100 kick-200 pull
    4 x 50 quarter's strong
    100 non free

    2 x
    - 3 x 75 on 1:40 ksp [did 100s]
    - 3 x 75 on 1:30 rotate fast 25 fr [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/2600 yds/60 min]

    A good workout with Jim, Greg, Rebecca, and newcomer Heather. I zonked on the second round with the second set of 75s, although I'm not really sure why. Now to rest up for the impending snow storm
    Swim Workouts
  10. Workout 02/03/18: morning

    by , February 3rd, 2018 at 08:36 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Today we had our annual 50 x 50 on one minute swim, complete with an energetic playlist that I broadcast through my soundbar. The rules were simple... On your own warm up, then do a swim every minute until we hit 50 repeats. I was able to swim 75 on the first four swims of the first 2 sets of 10, then mix up a bunch of kicking, Colleen, and stroke work as well as some speed play. It's a fun thing that we do as a group, and I ended up swimming 3100 yards over the course of the hour.
    Swim Workouts
  11. Workout 01/30/18: evening

    by , January 30th, 2018 at 09:10 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 50 quarter's strong

    2 x 200 pull on 3:45 focus on finishing pull (did 250's)
    1 x 100 kick
    16 x 50's on 1:00
    [1-5 = perfect stroke, 6-10 = build up, 11-14 = build down, 15-16 = easy]
    100 choice
    4 x 75 on 1:40 k-s-p (last 2 loosen) [did 6 on 1:15]
    [Masters/Rec/2150 yds/50 min]
    Swim Workouts
  12. Workout 01/27/18: morning

    by , January 26th, 2018 at 10:50 AM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick swim before work today...

    200 free.200 back.200 im drill
    600 shark swim
    4 x 50 easy down fast imo back
    200 loosen
    [Solo/Rec/1600 yds/30 min]
    Swim Workouts
  13. Workout 01//23/18: evening

    by , January 23rd, 2018 at 09:55 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Feeling a little sore from the meet this weekend, but overall good. Full house tonight ...

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

    6 x 125 on :20sr (25 fast/75 dps/25 fast) [did extra 25 bk]
    100 kick
    14 x 25 on :40 {odd stroke, evens fast free)
    5 x 50 active recovery on 1:15
    [Masters/Rec/2300 yds/55 min]

    Swam with Greg, Joe, Rebecca, Jim, Beth, and newcomer Sean. Hoping to use the 25's as a test set every 2 weeks for the next couple of months, decreasing the interval.

    I joined the Flow Swimmers virtual swimtathlon this year. I have been looking at it for a couple of years and think that it will help me stay consistent with training.
    Flow Swimmers Website
    Swim Workouts
  14. Meet 01/20/18: Happy New Year Master Meet

    by , January 20th, 2018 at 08:38 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    First meet of the year and my first time checking out this somewhat local meet, held a little over an hour west of home at the Mohonasen High School (Schenectady, NY). It is the 9th year of the event and this year they had a record number of swimmers (58). With my work schedule open for me to attend and my buddy Greg also willing to compete, we headed over with my son.

    This is also my first meet in the 40-44 year age group, as my twin sister and I had our birthday this past Thursday.

    Warmup: 1400 yds

    50 free - 24.67
    I felt good during this swim and really picked up the second lap. I think with some additional sprint training I can get faster. Still a goal of mine to get under 24.
    -- 200 loosen

    100 IM - 1:03.99 (28.64, 35.35)
    Felt great on the fly leg, not too coordinated on back, good on breast and tired on the free! I had not worked breast too much since having some knee issues, but have been learning how to swim it more efficiently.
    -- 50 loosen

    50 fly - 28.60
    I was in heat 3, so I had about 3 minutes between the IM and this fly event. I knew it would be close, and my heart rate was sky high. My breakout was good and I worked to finish with good form.
    --- 200 loosen

    200 free - 2:02.61 (29.53, 31.82, 32.08, 29.18)
    I felt really good on this swim. I swam it a little differently than normal so my 3rd was a bit slow. I ended up getting touched out at this finish but made it an interesting race!
    --- 300 loosen

    All in all a well run meet in a nice facility. The increase in numbers lead to a longer than expected meet, but events progressed smoothly with no issues. We left before the 1000 and 1650. Greg had some great swims (particularly a great race in the 100 breast), and we both enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting new folks on deck and learning more about how other Masters incorporate swimming into everyday life and some different training ideas. I also made contact with Kathy and Steve, who help to drive some of the ADMS swimming opportunities. I hope to be able to make it back next year!

    Updated January 21st, 2018 at 09:26 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: adms
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  15. Workout 01/20/17: morning

    by , January 20th, 2018 at 12:28 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 free/100 kick/200 swim/100 im drill
    4 x 25 burst and cruise
    200 build by 50
    taped team swimming a 50 free (did one myself)
    Backstroke work (swam 200 yards total)
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/1350 yds/30 min)

    Warmup for masters meet this afternoon...
    Swim Workouts
  16. Workout 01/16/18: evening

    by , January 16th, 2018 at 09:32 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull
    4 x 25 build

    rotate through...
    1. 25-50-75-100 25's on :30 fast
    2. 50-75-100-25 50's on 1:00 90%
    3. 75-100-25-50 75's on 1:30 80%
    4. 100-25-50-75 100's on 2:00 build
    - did a mix of back/free/im during the set. masters minute after #2+3

    4 x 75 on 1:30 k-s-p (did 5 on 1:20)
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2100 yds/55 min]

    Masters meet over near Albany, NY, this coming weekend.
    Swim Workouts
  17. Workout 01/09/18: evening

    by , January 9th, 2018 at 09:37 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/100 pull/100 easy
    4 x 25 build

    4 x 75 [did 5 on 1:15 + 50 easy]
    6 x 200 on :15 [did 250's on 1,2,4,5]
    - build
    - fast
    - recovery

    50 easy, 2 x 25 FAST
    200 loosen
    [Masters/Rec/2700 yds/55 min]
    Swim Workouts
  18. Workout 01/06/18: morning

    by , January 6th, 2018 at 09:36 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 swim/100 kick/200 pull/100 easy
    4 x 50 burst and cruise

    1 x 400 on 7:00 neg split [did 500: 3:15, 3:14]
    1 x 50 kick
    1 x 300 on 5:30 pull [did 400]
    2 x 50 on 1:05 [easy,fast]
    1 x 200 on 4:00 [alt free/stroke - did 300]
    3 x 50 on 1:05 [fast,easy,fast]
    1 x 150 dolphin dives
    4 x 50 on 1:05 [fast,easy,fast,float]
    1 x 100 fast [did back - 1:09]

    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2950 yds/65 min]
    So we have been hammered with cold weather (highs in the teens, windchills -30+] and snow so I have been getting in my drylands! The cars have been starting without too much of an issue. The other plus has been that the pool has finally cooled a was 84 today but 79 on Tuesday night!

    Updated January 8th, 2018 at 09:44 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  19. Workout 01/02/18: evening

    by , January 2nd, 2018 at 09:05 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I kinda fell off the blog scene at the end of December, I did compete at the New England SCM champs - discovered that not training for the 200 back makes it a painful swim (went 2:31, should be good enough for a top ten time), the 50 free was not horrible (27high), and my 100 fly felt great (came in at 1:08). Looking to swim near Albany, NY, next weekend, maybe something in Feb, and gearing up for the Harvard meet in March. Complete things with our mini meet the first Saturday of April, and maybe something else that comes up.

    Workout today was in the New Year theme...

    200 free/100 kick/200 pull/50 choice
    20 x 50 (4 each on 1:05, :60, :55, :50, :60)
    18 x 25 (10 on :30, 8 on :35)
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2250 yds/55 min]
    Fun little 2018 with some hard efforts alternating with easy on the 25's

    Updated January 8th, 2018 at 09:48 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
  20. Workout 12/1/17: morning

    by , December 1st, 2017 at 08:07 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Quick swim before work this morning:

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    400 shark swim
    400 DPS with fast 4th 25 (in traffic)
    200 loosen and out
    [Solo/Masters/Rec/30 min]

    I signed up for the New England SCM Champs at WPI in Mass next weekend. I'll see how I am feeling but the plan is to head down for just Saturday:
    8 Men 400 SCM
    12 Men 200 SCM
    14 Men 50 SCM
    18 Men 100 SCM

    Slowly trying to get back into shape and also competition. I am focusing on New England SCY Champs at Harvard in March, with hopes to swim a full meet Fri-Sun.

    Updated December 3rd, 2017 at 08:39 PM by rxleakem

    Swim Workouts
Page 5 of 43 FirstFirst 12345678915 ... LastLast