• Nikki Bartlett

Update; viral infection, change of mid season plan, new sponsors

Hello Well, the season kicked off well for me, with my main races at the beginning of the season, I wanted a mid season break after the World Long distance champs, which turned out not so long, and a duathlon! So, I did that nicely, felt refreshed so started back slowly, in the first week I did an open water swim. Felt good during the swim, then about 7 hours later, bam, bites EVERYWHERE, well where the wetsuit wasn't, I had simply, been attacked! Then the next day I just felt absolutely drained, and this got worse as the days went on. So much so, that getting out of bed and getting to work, was my biggest daily challenge. Obviously things weren't right, so I had a blood test, to find that I had a viral infection from the bites. SO, in total it took about three weeks to go away. So after a mid season break and these three weeks, that bought us up to July. So, the Nationals on the 14th July were looking unlikely, so had to pull out from this. Anyway lets leave the dull stuff, in summary, a month out, unhappy Nikki, but gave me an extra boost of motivation to get going again. July 13th: 10k open water challenge (I can't call it a race, as I couldn't even imagine being able to race this distance!). This brings in nicely one of my new sponsors; Aqua Sphere. I have been lucky to partnership with Aqua Sphere, I absolutely love the swim wear range, and feel privileged to be part of the team. The goggles are fab from the vista for open water swimming, to k180 and kayenne, and the wetsuit is super fast and extremely comfortable. Check out their whole range here: http://www.aquasphereswim.com/uk/. Now, back to the 10k event, well, what hard work that was to say the least! Two friends and I are doing the Henley-Marlow bridge to bridge 14k swim in August for a bit of 'fun', and wanted to use this 10k as a bit of an eye opener, well it was an eye opener for sure, but looking forward to the challenge never the less. Lets just say, the 10k was a good swimming day out, wore my new Aqua Sphere range, and was a good day to practice mental training. Got a nice 3rd place trophy and fellow friend Cath came 2nd. July 20th: Womens 10k running. Since the virus I haven't been running a lot, lets just say 5 times in 6 weeks. So niggle felt fine so wanted to use this as a training tempo run rather than a race. But its hard when your on the start line, representing 9bar, the official nutrition sponsor for the event, and you have fellow 9bar team mates around. I started off fiddling with my garmin as I had it on bike mode, silly Nikki, error 1. I started off quite leisurely, around 7min miles, and wanted to build into the run, dependent on the niggle. Niggle got a tick, so I was gunning for the front few, including Nell McAndrew, and fellow team mate, Vicky. I caught up to the front pack, still fiddling with garmin so just switched it off and ran with Vik for a while, then slowly broke away, not far though. I had in my mind, a 1st and 2nd place for team 9bar would be ace, so I kept that thought, but didn't want to push on too much, just at a pace I knew I would run at if I was doing a tempo run back home, but its hard to do that in a race environment. Great 2nd place for Vik, and 1st place for me, team 9 bar on the podium and into the Nottingham Echo: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/Women-running-feeling-fab/story-19551200-detail/story.html#axzz2ZndDRE3J

July 21st: double 9bar event weekend for me, and onto The Great Weston Ride. Fantastic event, and was great fun with great scenery. 1st girl home and used it as a hard bike session, so all in all a great weekend :-). Other news: Great to have on two other new sponsors. 1. Stowaway foods. Absolutely great tasting products. I love tasty food, and food with a good kick of chilli too, which their chilli certainly has. This is great for recovery, as its instant, nutritious and easy to take anywhere with me. For events, it travels well, you don't need to keep it in the fridge, and you can use a microwave or stove to heat it. Great to have instant food after a session too. Check their website out, cannot recommend their range enough: http://stowawayfoods.com/ Natural Hero: Three great products; Hot ginger muscle rub, cool peppermint spray and hot ginger bath soak. All fantastic products to help aid recovery and help prevent DOMS! The hot muscle rub is great to alleviate post session fatigue, but also to use prior a training session. The warm sensation on the muscles is great. In this heat, the cool peppermint spray is fantastic too, or a long soak in the bath with the hot ginger muscle soak. Check them out, great products: http://www.naturalhero.co.uk/our-products.asp What's next? More hard training and then: August 11th: 14k swim Henley-Marlow (not a race!)

9bar run to the castle event 24th August (its 40miles and I wish I could do that race, but it wouldn't tie in with competitions) so just doing 20miles at a steady pace

Henley Challenge: Half ironman 8th September

Stowe Middle Distance (half ironman): 29th September

Either: season end or Birmingham half marathon: 20th October, then season ends Thanks for reading and catch you soon :-)

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