2013 Fundraiser

Emily von Jentzen is an Ultra Marathon Swimmer who completes lengthy endurance swims to raise money for children with special medical conditions.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's all a little fishy if you ask me...

Every now and then I have to take an unscheduled "off day" or "off days" due to what I call "hibernation spells."  It's weird because there generally isn't a pattern to it, I mean I'm tired after harder effort workouts, but with hibernation spells I sleep way more than my normal 8 hours.  Saturday night I slept for close to 15 hours of sleep.  When I take an unplanned "off day" its when I have an extended period of sleep and I still wake up feeling tired.  I've learned that's my body telling me to take it easy.  It's one of the hardest thing to learn as an athlete....listening to your body.  There is always this pressure, for me most of it is internal, but there's this pressure to "stick to the plan," work harder, etc.  It's a fine line because that kind of dedication and self discipline is one of the things that helps an athlete achieve success....however if you ignore your body when it's trying to tell you something...you can end up sick or injured.  Interestingly enough, USMS just posted an article with a similar theme: http://www.usms.org/articles/articledisplay.php?aid=2736

So....due to the intense case of the "sleepies" I took three off days (sunday-unplanned, Monday-planned, Tuesday-sort of unplanned).  An added bonus...and my boyfriend's all time favorite, my hibernation spells were accompanied by the "hair trigger tear response" and Sunday was a day when I had more than a few "Cry downs" (break downs with tears).  My boyfriend is getting quite good at dealing with them...but I'm also pretty sure he's close to having me committed.

So....after three days off...today's swim felt awesome, however, Whitefish lake was pretty smelly today...the consensus was it was either fishy or wet dog smell.  Either way...wished I had been chewing gum during the swim.  :)

17 days until the swim....I'm hopeful the weather will cooperate and I will get a nice clear window of no thunderstorms.

I have two pretty big court hearings in the next week and a half....so I've had a little work stress on my mind as well.  But I've started getting really excited about the post-swim tv marathon while I recover.  Last year it was Grey's anatomy...haven't chosen my series for this year yet.  But fortunately I have a good amount of comp time and vacation time I can use after the swim.  :)

Dinner's ready....talk to you all tomorrow!


Saturday, July 27, 2013


I'm so tired today!  I missed a few days of blogging so I will catch you up.  I took Thursday off and got to get a little dressed up (for me this means taking more than a 5 minute shower, putting on makeup and actually brushing my hair rather than putting it up in a messy bun) and went to dinner with my boyfriend and a friend of his at Ciao Mambo in Whitefish!  So delicious!

Friday was a busy day and by the time I got home it was 5:30, so I did a pool swim since I didn't feel like driving an hour round trip for an open water swim.  Every two weeks or so I get a pool swim in...its a good time to work on technique and use some "toys" like paddles and fins!  :)

This morning I tried to sleep in, but this little fella Mason...thinks sleeping in means 7:30 am...which is when he woke up wanting to play.

 So, once up....I drove out to McGregor Lake for a swim.  I've driven by McGregor a million times, but hadn't ever swam there before.  I liked it--very clear and clean lake with little boat traffic, just a few fisherman and kayakers.  Completely calm on the way out with some wind and waves on the way back.  I found a piece of land I want to buy....like I find on most lakes I swim...this one is $340,000 so I don't see it happening anytime soon....but its nice to dream about.

Today I'm thankful for such a wonderful place to live and train.  I'm thankful for all of you following my adventures and supporting this swim for Carter.  I'm thankful to those who have donated money to the fundraising efforts like Wendy and Roy Rogers of Hong Kong Harry's who donated $1,612.50 to the Enduring Waves Foundation for Carter's Cause.  I'm thankful for the growing number of businesses who are sponsoring this event (see http://www.enduringwaves.com/#!sponsors/cgqf)  I'm thankful to all those folks who are making arrangements to be on my crew! And I'm thankful for my friends and board members Katie, Christy and Krissy for all the "behind the scenes" work they are doing to make this swim successful.

Now...I better get to the grocery store before I fall asleep...cause I have nothing to eat in my house...and I'm hungry!  :)

Good night!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mosquitos swim too?

AHHHHH!  I've been attacked by mosquitos!  I think they were flying along taking a chomp out of me each time my arm came out of the water.  It's time to add to the list of pre-swim products (currently sunscreen and aquaphor)....BUGSPRAY!  I think the mosquitos know how much sugar I eat...I'm like a dessert bar for those little monsters!

Had a nice swim today...actually, it was AWESOME!  Some adjustments to my swim nutrition have been really beneficial for my shorter training swims so I'm feeling really positive about that!  Not only did I feel great today, but my mile split times were significantly faster than my normal splits.

It was great to have a good swim because I've been a little stressed at work this week.

I was so tired when I got home...so it was a fantastic treat that my wonderful boyfriend brought me pizza for dinner!  I love pizza!

Another thing I'm a big fan of....my Safe Swimmer Bouy.....it straps to your waist and makes you much more visible to boats AND....another bonus...you can put your stuff in it-keys, flip flops, small towel, sunscreen and snacks!  And 100% of the profits go to the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Anyhow...its time to snuggle with the pups for a little while before bed!


And then the calm

Okay, so quick post cause I'm running a little behind this morning!

Yesterday I swam with my friend Debbie and we swam in Woods Bay on Flathead Lake.  I probably say this every time I find a new little "secret" swim spot, but this is my new favorite.  The water in the lake was flat as glass and SO clear.  I saw a TON of fishies....mostly large schools of little tiny fish (who based on my speculation were also having a swim practice).

We swam four miles, but it hardly felt that long.  We started off right by a place called The Raven (great food) that has an outdoor eating area...and it was kind of funny because we got some odd looks from a few patrons, but two hours later when we returned those same patrons were still there...with different sorts of looks on their faces.  :)

As we approached sore, Debbie's husband was waiting for us with glasses of ice water...which was AWESOME.  My boyfriend came down and met us for dinner at The Raven.  It was a nice relaxing swim and dinner.  I don't know why I haven't tried to swim from there before, I do enjoy the Raven.  Every new year they hold a Polar Bear swim which I took part in this year for the first time.  Obviously our swim yesterday was much more pleasant.

Okay...one more thing before I go.  Yesterday someone in the Attorney General's office sent out an email about my swim to all the people who work in the Department of Justice and in the first two hours we got TONS of emails of people willing to help us out with some of the last minute things we still need in place for the swim.  I feel so fortunate to live in such a caring state...lots of people willing to help!

Well, more later!  Have a great day!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I feel I could have slept an extra 4 hours this morning for sure!  :)  Yesterday I just did an hour swim at Ashley Lake, but it was a tougher hour.  When I'm alone I usually do out and backs (keeps me honest)...and yesterday I did a mile out and a mile back.  The wind picked up a bit on the way back, so I had to work to get back to shore.

One of the things I have dramatically improved upon from my last training for Lake Chelan is less pool swimming and almost exclusively open water swimming.  It seems like it shouldn't matter, swimming is swimming after all, however I've found that even in calm water, open water swimming is harder than pool swimming.  But the waves....those are my favorite part.  I wish I could control them....ramp them up for harder workouts.  However, even with no control of the waves, it seems like at least two workouts a week I get a good bit of wind gust during my workouts...which brings the waves.

I've always really embraced the training philosophy that if you can learn to love the things you hate...you become a better, tougher athlete.  One of my least favorite parts about my Lake Chelan swim was the waves...they were big...and the worst at night.  But now on my training swims, when my mind starts to wander back to that cold night back in 2011, when the waves were crashing me into the boat...I can think things to myself like "at least I'm warm," or "at least its not night time."  The waves don't scare me anymore...I welcome them into my swims like an old friend.

I also love feeling sore the day after battling waves.  :)

Well...its off to work for me...have a great day!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

One month to go!

Hi guys!  It's been a busy week for me, and today was spent relaxing around my house with a little cleaning!  Last week I traveled to Helena and then to Fairmont for a work training.  While in Helena, my niece and I got in a swim in Canyon Ferry (of course the dogs swam too!)....

Then Saturday I had to return my niece to Washington....we had a really fun two weeks.  Sad to see her go...but I certainly have enough to do to keep me busy now that we have less than a month until the swim!

I had a good talk with my nutritionist today....have some adjustments to make to my plan...but I'm hopeful that we are getting close to having that plan finalized.

I meet with my doctor tomorrow to discuss last week's blood test and make a plan as to any post swim care that I might need...I think that we will be able to set up getting fluids via IV post swim so I can sleep and not worry about dehydration.

In the next week or so I hope to have an idea of my start date with an extended weather forecast.  My hope is to begin the swim on the morning of the 18th...fingers crossed for no thunder or lightening.  I hope not to have to postpone that start date.  I also hope to have my crew finalized within the next week as well as the details of my boat support.

Good night!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Testing, Testing...123

It's been a while again!  Sorry for my silence....I think about blogging almost every day...but usually bed time sneaks up on me before I find a spare minute to accomplish the task.

I have been 100% wetsuit free since my last post!  It's been really fun, I feel more at home in the water.  It's kind of cool to think about how a lot of the open water greats swam with the simplicity of a normal swim suit, cap and goggles.  With all the hi-tech gadgets, suits and wetsuits...its kind of refreshing to just swim in a suit.  I haven't been feeling cold during my swims at all...which is GREAT...especially since the lakes I've been swimming in are a bit colder than Canyon Ferry.

I did a "test" swim on Saturday to try out a few new nutrition products (Generation Ucan and Accellerade), to have a post swim blood test to check my kidney function and to monitor temperature changes over a longer period of time without a wetsuit.

The test swim was an 8 hour practice.  I felt pretty awesome the first 4 hours, but then one of the products disagreed with my tummy and I had a little tummy distress the last 4 hours.  Some modifications will have to be made to the menu....but figuring this stuff out is half the fun.

My shoulders responded excellent during the swim--I feel completely ready to go in that regard.  I was not even really sore Sunday at all--even felt good enough for a two hour horseback ride!

My post swim blood test came back good as well.  I haven't had my doctor appointment yet but my doctor texted me that the results looked great.  So yay for good functioning kidneys.  :)

My niece Hannah has been staying with me the past week and will be here until Saturday.  We have had a blast swimming all over the place (she is a swimmer too!) and the dogs sure love having her around.

Today I'm heading to Helena and then Fairmont Hot springs for a work conference.  I will be in Helena on and off for the rest of the week and will get a few swims in Canyon Ferry if the weather agrees....so far there are only lightening predictions on one day this week.

Will post some pics of Canyon Ferry later this week!