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, October 8, 2014

Recovered and rested

Hi everyone!  Sorry for the lack of postings on this blog during and following the swim.  We were short staffed on the crew and although we had updates on Facebook, the blog was a little neglected.  My mom reminded me the other day that I hadn't yet updated the blog.

The swim went well.  We had a better than expected day on Friday.  Water conditions were exceptionally flat with little wind all day long.  I had a bit of issues late in the day balancing my nutritional intake, but that resolved itself before nightfall.  By near 9pm the waves and wind picked up and we had little relief form that most of the night.  It took all I had to last the night.  I was taking in warm liquids every half an hour, but it was still hard to keep the chill away (again this was a no-wetsuit swim).  The sun came up near 7, which I was very happy about, but the waves did not die down with daybreak.  At around 8 I decided I would continue to 9 am, to get to the 24 hour mark, and then we would stop.  I had said before the swim began that if conditions were good and I felt well I would continue on past 24 hours, however, neither of these were the case.

I am very proud of both my individual effort as well as the effort of my amazing crew. I was worried after being pulled from the 2013 Canyon Ferry swim at 3 am that I had a mental block which might prevent me from getting through the night, so I am quite happy we got to 24 hours.

It was VERY fun to have Bella and her sister on the boat.  They took care of handing me my food during feedings and they stayed out on the boat for all but the last 2 hours.  The houseboat was great for accommodating the overnight sleepy crowd. My favorite memory was after the swim when I had to get an IV and Bella was hugging me and holding my hand the whole time.

Our fundraising efforts were quite successful.  We have raised over $10,500 for Isabella so far!  We will continue to accept donations for Bella through 2014, so this amount may grow a bit higher!

After the swim I took a full week off from work.  All my post-swim blood tests came back normal, so my time off was mostly for the resting and sleeping.  I returned to work after a week because it was a busy time to be out of the office and even being out a week left quite the pile up of work.

I took a full 30 days off from working out, today being my first workout back and I went for a short run.  I'm glad I took that extended time off and I feel really recovered.  I've used some of my free time to get going on my book.  A friend of mine has allowed me to go to her lake house to write on the weekends, which has been lovely!

I'm looking forward to planning our 2014 schedule and fundraising.  Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Final thoughts-pre swim

Boy has it been a whirlwind week!  Today was pretty much go, go, go all day.  We are ready to go with a few minor things to take care of in the morning.  I have been surprisingly calm today…probably because I had so much to do it was a distraction from nerves.  As the day wore on and I felt tired here and there I commended myself for the decision of a later start time.  Tomorrow's 9 am start time is MUCH more pleasant than my prior swim starts of 3:30 am and 4 am.

Last minute adjustments to crew and technology snafus all seemed to work out.  The course is plotted on our brand new "Montana" GPS, thanks to Sportsman for the great last minute deal on that.

Since I am already a bit late on getting to bed….I'm going to have to write out my extensive thank you list in the morning, however here are the "mile sponsors" so far….and note, you can still be a mile sponsor once the swim has started….reach out to our support crew and get a donation in and we will get you on the list.

Miles 1-5 go to the Price family for their donation of time and their wonderful house boat The Abraham
Mile 6-Beach Haven Press
Miles 7 & 8 Stahlberg and Sutherland
Mile 9 Walmart of Kalispell
Mile 10 Exhaust Works
Miles 11 & 12 Sportsman
Mile 13 Beach Haven Press
Mile 14-19 Jesco
Mile 34: Plumbing, Inc.
Miles 36-60: OPEN for SPONSORSHIP
Miles 61-62: The Raven

And a few more details….for those hungry for more information.  I am following the Marathon Swimming Federation rules, for those of you unfamiliar with them this means:

1) I am not wearing a wetsuit, just a regular swim suit
2) Just wearing one latex cap (a special one designed by Miss Bella)
3) I will not touch the boat for the duration of the swim
4) I will not be touched by any person for the duration of the swim
5) Swim begins when I enter the water on my own, and it ends when I exit the water on my own
6) I declare the use of one "nonstandard, nonperformance enhancing" piece of equipment, specifically, Finis Hydro Trackers.  These devices track a swimmers course, but information is not viewable until uploaded to a computer.

Food is all packed, cameras, GPS devices and cell phones are charging.  Now its off to bed…its like Christmas.  :)

Follow my progress on my website (www.enduringwaves.com) where there will be a live GPS tracker, on this blog and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emily-von-Jentzen/252078214804908


Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Anyone who does long distance events, swimming or otherwise, is lying if they tell you they don't get nervous.  For me the nerves come in waves (see what I did there…:) ).   Generally my nerves are usually related to thoughts of panic like "I totally forgot about….."  There have been a few of those moments in the past few days.  Luckily, I have an amazing group of people, scattered ALL over, helping me put out these little fires.

I have been so thankful for all of my helpers who are taking care of problems as they arise, listening to my venting when some plans are not working out as I had hoped, and keeping me on track for the task at hand.  It is surprisingly complicated to organize jumping in the water and swimming for 24-36 hours straight.

I think my dogs are more nervous than I am.  With the packing efforts taking over my kitchen and living room, they must be thinking I am about to embark on a VERY long trip and since their dog dishes or dog beds haven't been packed they assume they are being left behind!  Little do they know…I won't be away from them long and then we will have a 2 week long snugglefest on the couch while I recovery.  :)

We've ALMOST got the crew finalized.  Feeling like we won't have enough people is always the most nerve racking part for me….but it does always seem to work out.

Tomorrow is my last day of work before my swim, then I have all Thursday to get my last minute things done like packing my nutrition.  

Its about time for me to get to bed….lots to do tomorrow.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Week and a Day!

Hi Everybody!

Been a while since I've blogged, but I have a few minutes before I have to leave my house for a Sunrise Swim…so I thought I would get in a quick update!

Things are getting wrapped up planning wise for the swim next week.  As is almost always the case, the last minute changes in some crew members schedules requires modifications here and there, but I have learned not to stress too much about those sorts of things as everything tends to work out alright in the end.

Below is my tentative schedule for the swim.  While we have been advertising the swim as a 24-hour swim, if we have good conditions and I'm feeling well, I am making preparations to continue on for up to 36 hours.

Shift 1: 9am to 5pm (we do have one person who is switching out at noon, so we can split that shift if needed).
CREW SWITCH LOCATION: (I will be approximately 14 miles into the course) West Shore State Park Boat Launch
Shift 2: 5pm to 12am
CREW SWITCH LOCATION: (I will be approximately 26 miles into the course)Big Arm State Park Boat Launch
Shift 3: 12am to 7am
CREW SWITCH LOCATION: (I will be approximately 38 miles into the course) Boetcher Park Polson
Shift 4: 7 am to 2pm
CREW SWITCH LOCATION: (I will be approximately 50 miles into the course) Yellow Bay State Park
Shift 5: 2pm to end (anytime between 7 and 10)
SWIM END LOCATION: (Full course is 62 miles, projected finish time 36 hours) The Raven Woods Bay

We have been fortunate enough to have a house boat, The Abraham, donated to us by the Price Family for the use of the swim and they are also supplying the drivers of the boat.  This is going to be a great improvement on past swims as 1) the crew won't be exposed to the elements the entire swim and 2) we will have the ability to heat up soup and other warm things for me at night to hopefully fend off the cold.

The weather in Montana is quickly turning to fall….and in some places winter!  While temperatures are starting to get a little colder, most of the temperature sensors on Flathead Lake still show water temps in the mid 60s.  We have a storm predicted this weekend, but I'm hoping the temps hold strong for one more week!

I've been feeling pretty good thus far.  I am confident in my training and mentally I feel ready to go.

Time to get on the road for my workout this morning….I will post some pics later!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

110,000 Baby!

Hey so July totals…110,000 yards!  Really happy with how this month rounded out.  July really flew by but I am feeling really great about the fact that I still have another full month of training.

Work has been really busy these last few weeks, but I've still been able to get in my swims.  All my outdoor swims this week had great conditions.  We swam in one of my favorite spots earlier this week in Woods Bay-water flat as glass and multiple fish sightings!  The temperatures here in Montana have been pretty warm all week which has made water temps really comfortable.

One of my goals for this weekend is to get my swim timeline figured out.  The biggest change I am considering from last year is a later in the day start.  I have started two of my long swims in the 3-4 am time frame and one (due to conditions/obstacles) started late in the day at 4pm.  While I am not thinking of going so far as an afternoon start, I am considering around a ten am start time.

Well I've got to get to sleep now!  One more day til the weekend!  :)


Monday, July 21, 2014

Flathead Lake Swim Series

Hi Friends!

Just wrapped up the Flathead Lake Swim Series, which was a joint effort between the KATS Masters swimming program and the Enduring Waves Foundation to host a 3-day swimming festival of sorts!

We had 4 races over three days (5K, 10K, 1 mile and 1/2 mile) and 50 athletes competing in multiple races.  Although most everyone had fun, we encountered MANY obstacles; smoke from fires in neighboring states caused low visibility, we had a runaway buoy, a safety boat malfunction, massive waves with whitecaps and a 15 degree drop in water temperatures from day one to day 3 (down to 54 degrees!)

I raced in all four races in addition to being the co-event director…so needless to say I am exhausted (approximately 6 and a half hours of racing…in some tough conditions!).

The proceeds from this event went to the Enduring Waves Foundation (and our 2014 beneficiary, five year old Isabella)…and we raised over $1500!  :)

Here's a little slideshow I put together of the weekend:

Flathead Lake Swim Series Race Video


Saturday, July 12, 2014

On track!!

Hi friends!

What a great summer it has been.  In Montana we have had nice HOT weather for over a month, which has resulted in really nice water temperatures in most all of the lakes I have been swimming in!  I've been NO WETSUIT now on all swims since the 6th of July (no looking back now!)  :)

I was just a teensy bit shy of my yardage goal this week, but I opted to compete in a local race rather than get a big training day in today.  I'm still feeling GREAT about my training.  I'm about to go into a recovery week this next week…so I am expecting to be feeling a little tired and cranky this week while my body re-energizes!

I'm happy to give you a nice update on Isabella…the Enduring Waves Foundation was able to purchase  a new SOFTER bed for Isabella…and check out this great post from her mom, Jessica:

Quick update: Isabella is doing great! She had treatment in Spokane last Thursday and is handling everything like a champ. It is so wonderful to see her happy. Some amazing people pulled together and bought Bella a new bed. It is such a comfortable bed. We have really seen a difference in how soundly she sleeps. She wakes up earlier and happy because she slept so well. We don't hear her moaning or crying in her sleep anymore. Thank you all who pitched in for the bed. It is an incredible gift. Bella's next treatment in Spokane is July 31st. We will post another update soon.

So a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has donated already to assist Isabella.  Next weekend we have an open water swim race series, the first annual Flathead Lake Swim Series, proceeds of which will benefit The Enduring Waves Foundation (and Isabella!).  Here is a great article on the race series: 


We have 40 swimmers signed up for the event (one from Tennessee and one from Florida!).  We are looking forward to a great event….and Isabella is expected to make an appearance and maybe sign some autographs!  :)

Well its past my bed time….I'll post more later!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Good day Sunshine!

Hi friends!  I was just looking over my blog posts and I cannot believe how few posts I have done this year!  Sorry about that!  Life has been busy for sure.

I just finished a two week hard training period and now thankfully I have a recovery week.  I train two weeks hard and then one week recovery.  This last week was an incredibly good training week for me. My weekly yardage totals were the highest I've gotten to thus far this year.  My shoulders are holding up well and I also feel I did great on sleep and eating this week too.  I've gotten into a nice schedule of being in bed by 8pm and up at 4:45 am.

I'm about eleven weeks out from this year's big swim-Enduring Waves for Isabella on September 5, 2014.  I will be swimming Flathead Lake again this year-which I am excited about because it feels like my "home" lake (so I will have the home lake advantage).  The rough plans at this point are a 24 hour swim beginning early Friday morning.  I'm going to do a perimeter swim of the lake and if I am feeling good after 24 hours, I just might keep going.  :)

I have my obvious goals that I set out to reach with each charity swim I do: 1)swim as far as I say I am going to, and 2)raise a lot of money for our EWF kiddo!  This year I have a couple of "sub-goals" as well.  First I've been working since January 1st to get down to "race weight" which I describe as my college swimming weight.  Last year I didn't give too much concern about weight, and in fact I was actually okay with putting on a little weight because I thought it would keep me warmer for my non-wetsuit swims.  I ended my season last year heavier than I had ever been before and I frankly just wasn't feeling too great about it.  Since January 1, 2014 I have already lost 25 pounds-which is excellent….still have a bit more to loose to get back to "race weight" but I'm sure feeling a lot healthier than I felt last year.

My second "sub-goal" is not to let "too many cooks in the kitchen".  This is one thing I really wanted to improve on from last year.  Last year I had too many "advisors" giving opinions on my training and related items.  Bottom line, at this point, I know exactly what it takes for me to be successful at a long endurance swim.  I'm focusing on my knowledge of my body and what works for my training and nutrition.  So far, this has been working out well for me this year.

I also chose a late season swim date this year.  My other swims have all been July or August.  I really wanted to get more training time in-which I think was a good move particularly this year, as our winter seemed to hold on tight here in Montana.  I didn't begin swimming outside until June (whereas I am usually outdoors in May).   My only concern with the late season date for the swim is the water temperature, but I've been doing my best to get acclimated to cold water training swims (coldest so far this year has been an hour swim in 52 degree water).

After the week of near non-stop rain here in Kalispell, it was sure nice for the sun to come out for the weekend!  Here's hoping it sticks around for a while now!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

My next swim goes to….ISABELLA

I am very pleased to announce that the Enduring Waves Foundation has selected 5 year old Isabella Allred as the beneficiary of our 2014 fundraising efforts.

Isabella is a five year old from Polson, Montana.  In August of 2013 Isabella was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  This news was particularly hard given that just one and a half months earlier, Isabella's cousin was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma.

Isabella is roughly eight months into her two and a half year treatment to fight this cancer.  Her treatment has required two lengthy stays in Spokane amounting to four months.  The other four months has required trips back and forth to Spokane every other week for treatments.  While the next stage of her treatment will involve a different schedule, Isabella will continue to require trips to Spokane for her treatment.

Our fundraising this year will specifically be used to pay any medical expenses not covered by insurance, travel for treatment and associated expenses.  The foundation also hopes to assist with the purchase of a softer bed for Isabella.  The chemotherapy causes ISabella's joints to hurt and she complains her bed hurts her body even worse because it is so hard.  A softer bed would hopefully ease with some of this pain.

While Isabella's mom works full time, when Isabella got sick, her dad had to quit his job.  The financial difficulties of relying on one income while traveling so often for treatment have placed additional stress on this family.  The Enduring Waves Foundation hopes to offer some peace of mind to the Allred's by easing some of this financial stress.

My swim for Isabella will take place September 5-6 in Flathead Lake, Montana (weather permitting), but our campaign for donations starts NOW.  :)  So click on the "donate now" button to the right to donate money for Isabella!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2014 Enduring Waves Fundraising

Hello Friends and Followers!

It's been while since my last post…and I promise to provide an update soon…but my purpose for this blog is to get the word out about the 2014 Enduring Waves fundraising efforts.

Once we formed our non-profit and applied for our 501(c )(3) status, we had to come up with a selection process for determining the child(ren) we raise money for each year (rather than in the past selecting a child informally essentially through hearing a story about a kiddo and wanting to help).  If you would like to read our full selection process check out our website.

Originally, we had set a date of March 31, 2014 as the deadline for letters of interest…however, we haven't gotten any submissions!  I'm sure there are still kiddos out there in need of assistance, but it doesn't seem we did a good job getting the word out.  So, we have extended the deadline to submit letters of interest to April 30, 2014 and we will select the child we are raising money for by mid-May.

So, if you know a kiddo with a medical condition and the family needs assistance with any medical related expenses (this could include a number of things, not limited to medical costs not covered by insurance, travel for medical procedures, special medical equipment, service dogs, etc), PLEASE help us get the word out!

The Enduring Waves Foundation has a great group of volunteers who are committed to making a difference in another child's life in 2014.