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u352
July 8th, 2005, 08:43 AM
GO LEONARD!!!!

Leonard Jansen
July 10th, 2005, 10:56 AM
T-

A million thanks from the bottom of my heart... however...

Due to the brutal rain the event was officially canceled because the water quality was very bad. (Apparently the Harlem River was bordering on a sewer.) They did, however, provide the means for those who wanted to swim unofficially to do so. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of risking severe illness because of my wife's health (tumor) issues - If I get ill, who would take care of her? Furthermore, if I got very ill and she had to take care of me, I worry that it would push her out of remission. Therefore, I had to make the devastating decision not to swim. It took me three years to get here, countless laps and more money than I care to think about, but the crappy part of being an adult sometimes means making tough decisions and I felt that I had to "take one for the team."

But I am truly appreciative for the kind thoughts.

-LBJ

u352
July 11th, 2005, 09:08 AM
You did the right thing man!

Be Strong!

DianaC
July 11th, 2005, 09:49 AM
Leonard - I am so proud of you! What a sacrifice to make for your wife, and you did the right thing. The right thing is never the easiest thing, though, and congratulations on your decision.

I am sorry to hear they canceled the event. I have a friend who did it a number of years ago, and he is encouraging me to start preparing for it and to try it in about 3 or 4 years. I may do that.

I wish you and your wife all the best, and will you try again next year? You said it was expensive - I am sure it's not just the registration, right? You also have to do the qualifying swim and all. Will they give any of the money back for the registration at least? How many people actually went ahead and risked the illness?

Take care and I hope you keep on swimming!
Diana

Maryyyyyy
July 11th, 2005, 02:29 PM
You're a winner in my book, Leonard. And I'll bet you're one in your wife's book too, which I have a feeling counts a bit more!

I think bacteria in water is probably a LOT more dangerous than larger animals (sharks and stuff...) It's hard to say no, but it's a smart decision. And, you will have another chance.

If I'm not mistaken, the same thing happened last year? Anyone know?

Guvnah
July 11th, 2005, 03:49 PM
Of all the places to swim, I've never understood the swim around Manhattan. Everything I've read about it recommends getting shots (like tetanus) before doing it. Of all the bodies of water in this country, the water around Manhattan will be about the last to get adequately cleaned up. I'm sure it's cleaner than when I used to live in NJ 25 years ago, but "cleaner" is only relative.

Maybe part of the allure is surviving the pollution.

And to that point, Leonard, you did absolutely the right thing. Not only from the aspect of the various scenarios that would happen to your wife if you got sick, but also for who-knows-what chunks of germs you would be bringing into your household that she might pick up.

Leonard Jansen
July 12th, 2005, 08:22 AM
Thanks for all the kind words. I was in a funk for about 24 hours, but then, as usual, I just decided that it was time to look for the next thing to do. I also thought that I was the only one who pulled out, but several people did as well as at least one relay team.

Turns out that NO ONE finished the (unofficial) race. Apparently a lightning storm blew in after 5 or so hours and everyone was pulled from the water anyway. Hopefully, no one will get ill as a result of their participation.

Speaking to several points:
1) Yes, the same thing happened two years ago and some people did swim it. Apparently one person (at least) became quite ill.

2) I am considering doing it next year - the only issue is the money, since it costs about $2000 to enter, hotel room, etc and you don't get any sort of refund in a case like this year. If my wife's health holds out and we don't have any nasty medical expenses between now and then, and I don't have to run her all over the east coast to doctors, well, maybe....

3) Guv - Yeah, it's a bit weird, but I swear that the water is remarkably clean MOST OF THE TIME for being so close to NYC. It's a real trip to be swimming in the Hudson and watch the Empire State building off in the distance, etc.

Also, I mentioned your posts to Deb and she said to say thanks, but also to "Tell your Internet 'girlfriends' that I sometimes catch you drinking straight out of the orange juice carton and you snore when you're very tired. Maybe that will take some of the lustre off."

Ah, love....

Thanks again to all,
LBJ

Hoosier
July 12th, 2005, 06:51 PM
My daughter swam the MM last year.....except for a couple places in the East River...water was very good. She finished the race, and had no ill effects from the water... the jellyfish were more of a problem.

Swimmy
July 16th, 2005, 08:57 PM
I am so sorry to hear about the race. Better luck next time! You are still a hero in my book!
Swimmy :)

FindingMyInnerFish
July 17th, 2005, 01:15 PM
Sorry to hear the race didn't happen after all your training and financial commitment. But as the others said, you did the right thing, and good comes back to you (or, "what goes around comes around").

I'm a total newbie to open water races, so please pardon any ignorance displayed in the questions below:

With all the money outlay, it's probably foolish to ask, but would there be other long races coming up soon where you could put your training to use? Maybe not as long as 28.5 miles, but something that's a good size challenge and not too far for you to travel....

It's not the same, but then maybe it will be one of those serendipitous surprises.

Leonard Jansen
July 18th, 2005, 07:56 AM
Thanks again for the kind words and thoughts.


Originally posted by FindingMyInnerFish
With all the money outlay, it's probably foolish to ask, but would there be other long races coming up soon where you could put your training to use? Maybe not as long as 28.5 miles, but something that's a good size challenge and not too far for you to travel.....

Unfortunately, this year has a dearth of longer races on the back end of the season in this part of the world. I was thinking of doing the Boston Light Swim again, but other commitments are getting in the way. Looks like I'm "stuck" with some of the shorter (1 mile - 5k) type races, most of which I've done before. Still, if that's the worst thing that happens to me this year, I'll be doing fine.


On a light note, re MIMS: My brother's 2 sons (7 &10) had made up a bunch of signs for my MIMS crew (my brother & my wife) to hold up during the race. They mailed them to me since I didn't get to see them. They have drawings of sharks nibbling on my toes, me swimming through brown water ("Eric, why is the water brown?" "He, he, he - you don't want to know.") etc. Really made me smile.

FindingMyInnerFish
July 18th, 2005, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by Leonard Jansen
Thanks again for the kind words and thoughts.

Unfortunately, this year has a dearth of longer races on the back end of the season in this part of the world. I was thinking of doing the Boston Light Swim again, but other commitments are getting in the way. Looks like I'm "stuck" with some of the shorter (1 mile - 5k) type races, most of which I've done before. Still, if that's the worst thing that happens to me this year, I'll be doing fine.


On a light note, re MIMS: My brother's 2 sons (7 &10) had made up a bunch of signs for my MIMS crew (my brother & my wife) to hold up during the race. They mailed them to me since I didn't get to see them. They have drawings of sharks nibbling on my toes, me swimming through brown water ("Eric, why is the water brown?" "He, he, he - you don't want to know.") etc. Really made me smile.

Well, you have the right outlook, for sure! Once I was upset about something I missed and a good friend I trust said "that should be the worst thing that happens to you." And of course he was right.

Love those sign ideas! lol!

Maryyyyyy
August 28th, 2005, 11:29 AM
I skipped a 5KM today... woke up at 5, heard hard rain, thunder, imagined lightning, so I rolled over in my bed and went back to sleep.

It was a FIN National Championships, more for "real" athletes than for Masters, although we by the rules are allowed to participate. So, if I'd gone, I might have (probably would have) been a National Champ for my age group, but more just because there aren't that many 45 year-olds going out there and doing 5KM swims next to guys who have just come back from Montreal...

So, I spent the (rainy and stormy) day mostly sleeping and reading, and burning 60 copies of CD's of the Strait swim to send off the the participants, and feeling sorry for myself, because I could have been out there pounding in the waves... :(

I was even mentioned in the paper on Friday as a participant. They're nice to middle-age female open-water swimmers here.

Oh well...

Got another 5KM coming up on September 10th... gotta make that one! Last of the season...

Thanks for listening... I'm feeling sorry for myself and a bit of a wimp...

Mary

geochuck
August 28th, 2005, 03:18 PM
Just a thought we have all I am sure been in some real dirty water places, Atlantic city race went right by the sewage disposal plant they said they shut it down the day of the race but I still saw brown lumps. When we were swimming in Hamilton Bay they said it was so pulluted you could walk across it (it was) but the water was warm. The beach canal was pulluted but we swam there it was warm. Thank god we are still alive after all the chances we took.

You were right don't take chances. Lots of races without those dangers Leonord.

fatboy
August 28th, 2005, 04:22 PM
Mary,

Sorry your swim got rained out., but you really don't want to be out there if there is lightning.

Hope your Sept 10 swim has better weather. I'll be swimming a 2.5km the same date.

Maryyyyyy
August 29th, 2005, 05:11 AM
Thanks guys, you make me feel better about my decision.

They did hold the race, but a (male) friend of mine pulled out at 1KM, so I might have done the same, who knows?

Anyway, it wasn't a pleasant day to be swimming in the sea, to say the least.

Ciao!
Mary :cool:

gull
August 29th, 2005, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by Leonard Jansen
Also, I mentioned your posts to Deb and she said to say thanks, but also to "Tell your Internet 'girlfriends' that I sometimes catch you drinking straight out of the orange juice carton and you snore when you're very tired. Maybe that will take some of the lustre off."

That's funny, my wife is convinced I have an Internet girlfriend because she occasionally catches me posting here.

By the way, you did the right thing. I've had to make similar sacrifices because of my kids--you just have to set new goals.

Leonard Jansen
August 29th, 2005, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by gull80
That's funny, my wife is convinced I have an Internet girlfriend because she occasionally catches me posting here.

Tell her you are posting mainly to guys. That should make her wonder a bit.

I keep telling my wife that the LAST thing I'd want is another woman in my life - since I can't handle the one I've got, what on earth would I do with another one? No one can absorb that kind of punishment and survive.

Thanks for the support (also, thanks to George) on the MIMS decision. I haven't heard if anyone who did swim got sick, but I hope not. I've also wondered about the chemical "stew" that may have washed off the streets as well. Lots of hydrocardon compounds, among other things, that might not express themselves until some future date. Having said that, however, I have already been considering next year - some people just don't learn.

-LBJ

Swimmy
June 22nd, 2006, 08:40 PM
Have a great swim in Manhattan! I hope all goes well. Let us know how you do! It was great to see you at the Swim For Life!

Swimmy : )

Leonard Jansen
June 28th, 2006, 02:56 PM
Hi Allyson -

Yes, it was good to see you and meet Diana at the SFL. I am sure we will meet up again, maybe at one the Jersey races.

Concerning MIMS: Well... what can I say...

I made it to just north of the George Washington Bridge (18 or so miles into the race in about 5.5 hours, I think) and was absolutely roaring along before I had to DNF. In brief, and trying to not be too indelicate, the problem was that my urinary tract "shut down" on me and the gradual buildup of fluids got so bad that I started cramping and vomiting. It ended with me visting the ER of St. Vincent's hospital to have a a fire hose stuck into my bladder to relieve the pressure. In truth, I've known for the last month or so that I *may* have cancer "down there", but my urologist said that I could delay the biopsy until after the race, since it is a very slow-growing cancer. So... next Friday we will see what we will see regarding that issue. Either way, I hope we can find a way to make sure it doesn't happen again - it never had before, so who knew?

But, let's not dwell on that. The more interesting details of the race is that I went out a bit slow and was very relaxed. At about one hour, I ran into a huge, red jellyfish that stung so bad Deb said you could hear me scream a mile away. I lost all feeling in my nose, lips, and parts of my face and both arms and sides for a while and it HURT. But I regained my stroke and kept going. Starting at about 2 hours into the race, the trek through the whirlpool and the first part of the Harlem River was ENDLESS as the current was strongly against us. However, I was gaining on soloists and even some of the relay teams. Passed the beloved Yankee Stadium and Coogan's Bluff (where the Giants used to play) along the way. Once the current began to go with us, I really started to overhaul other swimmers. Right before (like 200 yards before) I reached the Hudson, they made us get out as a thuderstorm rolled through. Not sure, how long we were out of the water, but we finally got back in and I only made it another 1/2 hour or so. I felt so strong and knowing that I only had a current-assisted 10 miles to go made it really hard, but I was in trouble and Deb, who I trust absolutely, told me it was time to go get medical help. Still, as disappointed as I was, I was really happy at how well I was doing and knowing that I had trained and paced perfectly has kept me feeling pretty upbeat about the whole thing. I think that I would have been in the 8:30 range had I finished and maybe even a bit better, based on teams/soloists that I had passed and was gaining on. (Side note here that is not always the most popular opinion, but I must say that a huge part of how well it was going was my TI technique.) I had a really first rate kayaker and boat captain - both probably the best I've ever swum with. And my crew (Deb & Keith), as always, IS the best.

The ugly news was that the water quality was so-so at the start but deteriorated during the race due to some heavy rain squalls. I (and others, I've heard) picked up a bug and was SICK, SICK, SICK on Sunday and Monday. Hopefully, no one was on a airplane when it hit them or it would have been the worst ride of their lives.

Funny story: While I was in the ER, my brother, Keith, who was on my crew, called his wife to let her know what had happened. My two nephews (8 &11) were eager to know and when they heard I was in the hospital the 8 year-old yelled out "Did a shark get him?" Their mom said no and explained it to them. They two of them consulted in whispers for a moment and then the little one blurted out: "It's too bad a shark didn't get him." Carol was shocked and asked him why he would say that. The older one said (with his brother nodding rapidly) "Because it would be a lot cooler to tell our friends that uncle Leonard didn't finish after beating up a shark with his bare hands than because his w@@ner stopped working." When my brother came back into the ER & told me that I laughed so hard I almost fell out of the bed.

Well, the next challenge lies ahead and then there are more races to go to once that's out of the way. I hope to see you (& everyone else wading through this screed) there.

-LBJ

thewookiee
June 28th, 2006, 05:28 PM
Leonard,

Thanks for the details of your race. That is a funny story on your nephews.
I hope that when you go to the doctor, they are able to treat and cure whatever your problem.
You have all our thoughts and prays with you.

John

Swimmy
June 28th, 2006, 05:56 PM
Sorry to hear about your health problems. Good luck with your recovery. I will pray for you and your family.
Too bad you did not get to finish your race. You are still my hero guru mentor! You know I could have done well not to hear that jelly fish horror story. Yikes. Now I am going to have nightmares tonight. Maybe you just told me that so I will swim even faster in my next race! Ick, ick, ick!
Get well fast and see you at a race soon!
Swimmy :)

bcswim
July 6th, 2006, 06:11 PM
wow lenord, i am new to this forum and i really enjoyed reading your post...My thoughts and prayers are with you!

Leonard Jansen
July 7th, 2006, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by bcswim
wow lenord, i am new to this forum and i really enjoyed reading your post...My thoughts and prayers are with you!

Thanks. I had the biopsy today (ouch! Funny how it's easy to swim youself into a coma, but a small needle makes me whine like a scalded dog.) and will know for sure next Friday, but the Doc says that he is currently leaning away from thinking that it is cancer. :D

Read your question regarding nutrition on longer swims. I use "Jansen-aide" - This is a mixture of 3 scoops of orange Acceleraide and 1 packet of GU tri-berry energy gel mixed in 48 fluid ounces of water. I drink 12 ounces every 30 minutes during a race. Although straight Accelerade is OK, I have decided that it is a bit sweet and the Gu cuts that as it is mostly Maltodextrin, which is not very sweet. So far, no bonking and no puking. That, plus it makes a tolerable fruit punch flavor which is less intense than the Accelerade orange alone. Stay away from solids, even so-called Powerbars and the like - they take too long to digest. As to pre-race feeding, I tend to need to start a race with little in my stomach, so I will eat a powerbar PROTEIN bar about 2 - 2.5 hours before the race. It satisfies the desire to eat, gets perastalsis (sp?) going in the lower bowels and keeps blood sugar fairly level. About 5-10 minutes before race start, I'll drink 12-18 oz of straight accelerade.

Hope that helps & good luck.

-LBJ

geochuck
July 7th, 2006, 07:54 PM
Before a long race Abou Heif would eat one or two roasted chickens, me I preferred bacon, home fries, eggs and a cup of coffee. During the race I would have a light solution of tang, and glucose powder mixed, also two capsules of calcium cassinate, and 2 salt pills, and a capsule of caffeine (similar to wake up pills), the pills and capsules were given to me in a paper cup and I followed with the beverage. It is what tastes good to you.

Leonard good luck I do not like needles and the worst pain I have ever felt is the removal of staples from my knee operations.

sharkbait
July 11th, 2006, 01:04 AM
Leonard,
I'm also new to the forum, and have been reading all the posts. I hope that whatever the problem is, it will be easily corrected. That story about your nephews had me LOL.

Having done only one ocean swim, a one mile event, I can't even imagine attempting a marathon swim distance. To say I'm impressed is an understatement. (And I'd be much more afraid of the pollution than the animal life). There will be other swims and other challenges. Good luck.

FindingMyInnerFish
July 14th, 2006, 09:33 PM
Apologies for chiming in so late...!

Leonard, first, I'm sorry to hear of the health issue, and I hope that whatever treatment is needed goes very well and you're back full force again to swim many more Manhattan Swim Marathons! I never cease to be amazed at the stories of people who do that--your "dnf" is five times longer than my longest swim event!! Prayers for you and your family!

Leonard Jansen
July 17th, 2006, 08:44 AM
Thanks to all for your kind thoughts. The good news is that I got the biopsy results on Friday & it is NOT cancer & IS rather easily dealt with. To put it mildly, we are relieved.

My wife celebrated by telling me that I had no more excuses to not get to the remodeling, so I spent the weekend "celebrating" by pulling out all the old carpet in the house. Isn't love grand?

Again, thanks to all.

-LBJ

FindingMyInnerFish
July 17th, 2006, 10:09 AM
So glad to hear the good news, Leonard! I think your wife has to buy you dinner or something for putting you to work so soon, heh! :)

sillesuz
July 19th, 2006, 04:07 PM
I was just lurking about and read about the cancelled Manhattan Swim so I thought I would let you all know about another chance to do some open water swimming in Hudson. Swim Across America is having it's Hudson River Swim on September 22, 2006. It is a 15-mile relay swim from the Tappan Zee Bridge to the George Washington Bridge to benefit cancer research. All the money raised goes to the Swim Across America Research Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering. They are doing some really amazing and ground breaking research that would not be possible without the money raised from this event. This will be the 12th year of this event. Like every year, several former Olympians will be participating. This is an incredibly fun event that truly is for a good cause. For more information go to www.swimacrossamerica.org

sharkbait
July 21st, 2006, 11:03 PM
Leonard, this is wonderful news! (I'm sorry I missed your post and took so long to respond). I'm so happy for you and your wife.

Are you going to be able to escape the remodeling and do any more open water swims this season?