Name Kara Bartlow

Where do you live? Washington State

What type of athlete are you? Hiker, backpacker and climber

Do you have a day job or are you a professional athlete? For my day job I work as a data scientist as well as working in outdoor retail on evenings/weekends.

How long have you been participating in this sport? I began hiking as a way to keep active after an ankle injury I sustained in 2016 that resulted in reconstructive surgery. Climbing and backpacking followed soon after as it healed.

Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire most? My parents and grandparents took us on road trips to the national parks as kids which influenced my love of the outdoors. I admire them taking time to drive us to experience so many states and different trails at a young age.

What is your training regimen? I try to spend my Saturdays outdoors hiking as well as a couple days in the gym or working out at home throughout the week.

How do you structure your days? I start work between 6-7am and am off by 3pm which gives me time to hike or ski some evenings. I usually drive somewhere further to hike on Saturdays since it’s my only day off between the two jobs.

Do you find your diet to be a crucial part of your lifestyle? If so, what diet tips would you recommend to your followers? I’ve started do 16/8 intermittent fasting on Monday-Thursday. What this means is that I stop eating at 8pm on Sunday night and don’t eat again until noon on Monday and repeat this until I get to noon on Friday. As for diet tips, I recommend following whatever diet suits your lifestyle best. I introduced this diet plan into my life because it is easy to stick to no matter how busy you are. I am working sometimes from 6am-9:30pm so I found limiting when I eat was easier than a plan that highly restricts what I eat.

How do you care for your body and health aside from your sport? I try to make it to yoga once per week but if I don’t, I just stretch and destress at home.

What is your impression of the Pellitec products we sent you? How did they add value to you? What did you like about them? Although I do my best with proper foot care and footwear, blisters still form occasionally while hiking. I liked that the PelliTec® Blister Prevention Pads adhere to the shoe instead of the foot. I usually use moleskin when I feel a hot spot forming but as I hike and sweat it can easily dislodge from my heel. Since the PelliTec® Blister Prevention Pads adhered to the shoe they didn’t sweat off. They were moisture wicking and padded for comfort.

Would you recommend Pellitec to other athletes? Yes, I found these to be effective and easy to use. It was nice to be able to stick the PelliTec® Blister Prevention Pad into the back of my shoe to prevent hot spots and not have to check on it or adjust throughout the hike.

What is something that your followers do not know about you, that you find to be very important to your personal lifestyle? One fact I don’t often share is that I have scoliosis. My spine is in an ‘S’ shape and twisted as well. Since it affects the alignment of my hips, back, and shoulders, it is very important that I stretch and strengthen different muscle groups to help decrease my muscular imbalances and minimize back pain.

What keeps you motivated when you are faced with challenges? I am naturally possibly over logically minded. When faced with challenges, I try to figure out what about the situation is challenging to me, if there is something I can do to mitigate that, and if not then I determine if the outcome is worth the effort. (When the challenge is steep terrain and the outcome is a beautiful view, as long as the route is safe enough, it’s always worth the effort!)

What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring athlete? The more in tune with your body you are, the better you can perform in any activity as an athlete. Learn when you can push yourself further than you think and learn when you need to listen to the warning signs it is giving you and back off a little. At the end of the day the most important thing is to make it back home in one piece.

Check Kara out on her Instragram account!