Iron Mike's Marathon Swims The life so shorte, the crafte so long to lerne

Nice swim in Strogino

June 17, 2017 / by ironmike

For reasons beyond my control, I had to bail on the 10k in St. Petersburg this weekend. No worries. I would make up for it by fitting in a couple of open water swims in the lake I swam in last weekend, Strogino.

Brought the family. My eldest daughter ran (12+ km!) while my youngest and wife walked around the lake. I aimed to do 1:40 (to match my running daughter’s plan), but forgot to look at my watch when I started. I set my Garmin to vibrate every kilometer. My goal was 4k, knowing that I am slow in open water and when swimming by myself I stop a lot. From boaters not paying attention to me wanting to look at the surroundings, I just tend to stop often when I’m not “racing.”

And today was no different. I decided to try some new speedo goggles I bought a couple months ago. They are purportedly for open water, and I got them for a good price, so might as well try them now. Big mistake! No, that’s not fair. Better to try them today when timing didn’t matter. But they are not for my face. Nice goggles, otherwise. But I either have to wear them loosely (in which case water finally does seep in) or crank them tightly (and have my eyelashes hit the inside of the goggle cup…annoying!). I stopped about 10 minutes into the swim today and opened up my dry bag (uh-oh) to get out my regular pair. I did this operation as carefully as possible, but found out upon completion of the swim that I did get some water inside.

This whole operation took a while, as per Mr. Garmin. Almost 2:30. First had to open the dry bag. Then pull out the new goggles, stuffing them in my suit. Then close the dry bag. Then take off the outer swim cap. (Stuff that in my suit.) Take off the Garmin, hold that carefully. Then take off the leaky goggles. Stuff those in my suit on the other side. Continue holding on to the Garmin. Put the new goggles on. Insert the Garmin between the goggle straps. Put on the outer swim cap. Done? Nope. Take off the buoy. Thread the crap goggles onto the waist belt. Don the buoy. Now done. Thinking about it, I’m surprised it only took me 2-ish minutes!

Here’s the Garmin tracks:

That little diamond in the middle West of the track was fun. I found a field of white and red buoys. On the way back from that far turn, as I approached the half-sunken houseboat I talked about last entry, I came across this field. I decided to swim around it a couple times, practicing my sighting. It was nice! There’s a little pier out there. I did catch a boater coming out of the other side of the pier while circling those buoys, happy to be on the “safe” side.

The water was nice, probably 16-17C like last week. I was the only person in the water, besides the windsurfers on the northeast side of the lake. People were looking at me funny, but no one said anything. On the way back from that far point I heard (underwater) a boat coming. As always when I hear that, I stop and look around. Far enough away from me (100m?) and going like a bat out of hell was an MChS (Ministry of Emergency Conditions…think Coast Guard) boat. He was aiming toward that far point in the above map. What you can’t see is a little south of the end point there is an opening where this lake attaches to the River Moscow. In total, three boats during my swim, all far enough away from me. Not sure if that means the pilots saw me or not.

Tomorrow I’m going back with one of my neighbors, a triathlete. He’ll be in a wetsuit and I’ll bring a nice and brightly visible cap in case he doesn’t have one. Two swimmers in the water are better than one, but I always worry about these dark black wetsuits when the waters are dark, like this lake. Tune back in tomorrow for another report!

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