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Friday, September 13, 2013

Bethany Bosch Boldly Swims In Search Of Memphre

Bethany Bosch completed the 25-mile In Search of Memphre in 17 hours 11 minutes. This is her story about her longest adventure under terrifically challenging conditions:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming:When the winds were swirling and the surface chop was turbulent, what were you thinking?
Bethany Bosch: I must confess that I didn't realize the conditions were very unpleaseant. It was hard, sometimes, to stay with the boat as the wind kept pushing it away, but I just accepted that that was part of the deal. There was one time when I looked up and one of my crew was using a pump to get water out of the bottom of our boat. I saw him doing that and I thought, "Oh... he must be bored." Then I kind of laughed at myself and my denial. Nope, nothing wrong with that scene at all! Everything is just fine! A little water here and there in the boat just makes it more fun.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Did you change your stroke any to navigate through the turbulence?
Bethany Bosch: I definitely did need to focus on keeping my head down. I had to sight a bit to see the boat and be sure I was on course and I noticed that my head would stay up, even when I wasn't trying to sight. I focused a lot on my body position.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: These was the longest swim of your life. What did you think during your LAST stroke and FIRST step on shore?

Bethany Bosch: Being from Vermont, I had a small group of very, very dear friends waiting for me on shore. When I looked up and removed my goggles and saw them standing there, I just thought, "I made it. I'm home." And even though I knew I was totally beat up and my eyes were almost swollen shut and my shoulders were sore, I just felt like the most beautiful creature on the planet just then.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What did you eat during the swim? What did you eat afterwards?
Bethany Bosch: I didn't eat anything during the swim. I just had an endurance drink mix. It worked great for the first 15 miles and then made me very sick for the last 10. It was all I could do to not throw up. Afterwards, my stomach was still upset for quite some time, so I didn't eat much until the next day. When I finally felt better, I had the chocolate mousse bomb I had picked special from a Vermont bakery to eat after the swim. I thought of it during the swim. It was so worth the wait!

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is next?
Bethany Bosch: I hope to participate in the SCAR swim challenge and Swim Across the Sound next year as a part of my training for my English Channel tide from September 1st-6th, 2014.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was the low point of your swim?
Bethany Bosch: Somewhere when I had only 5 or 6 miles left. I had been regurgitating my feed for quite a while and forcing myself to swallow it back down so that I didn't get dehydrated. My shoulders were pretty sore and hurting. I was pretty sleepy from being up all night. When I stopped, my crew said they were a bit concerned about my stroke rate and they wanted to be sure I wasn't getting cold or losing function. I answered them a little testily - because I thought they wanted to pull me out and I wasn't done yet - and then I felt really bad. My eyes filled with tears and I said, "I wished I trained better for this." They both told me I was doing fine and I was ready for this. I put my head in the water realizing I couldn't have trained any harder, there's no pool in my hometown - I have to drive an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the nearest one. As a part of my Channel Swim I am working with a non-profit to raise money to build an aquatic center in Rutland, Vermont so that the community can have access to indoor pool facilities and all of those benefits all year long. I just thought to myself that I have to do that - I have to build that pool. I have to. The next person from Rutland who swims this won't have the problems that I am having right now.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What body part hurt the most during your swim?
Bethany Bosch: My right shoulder hurt a lot and was very inflamed when I finished. I haven't yet got my full range of motion back.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Were you ever out of breathe or ill during the swim?
Bethany Bosch: With only 10 miles left was about the first time my mouth filled with bile and I spewed my feed out. I thought that if I actually threw up I might feel better, but I didn't want to get in the habit and become dehydrated. So from there on, I just kept swallowing it back down. It was pretty tough. I didn't expect to be so sick.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Did you ever do breaststroke or backstroke during the swim?
Bethany Bosch: I backstroked once to stretch my shoulders while I was waiting for my crew to add Advil to a feed.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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