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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

Stelvio

I am currently training on a glacier in Stelvio Italy. The training loop is about 5k long with the high point at an elevation of 10,900 feet. The air is thin up here but the skiing has been good so far. I was on multigrade hardwax for both of my classic sessions and my skate skis were gliding fast on the Fischer P1-1 grind. The visibility has been hit or miss but the sky is supposed to clear soon.

I have never trained this high for an extended period and I was curious about how the high altitude would affect my insulin sensitivity. My altitude experience has been limited to traveling from sea level to as high as 7000 feet. When I have transitioned to these altitudes in the past I have always had to up my insulin doses by at least 20%. I speculate that my body treats the change as a minor stress/annoyance and reacts by upping my cortisol production. Cortisol is a stress hormone that desensitizes the body to insulin. By going up to 11,000 feet I thought that I might have to up my insulin use by as much as 50%. However I have had to make virtually no adjustment to the doses I was using before my ascent. I can only guess at the reason, but I surmise that my body is working so hard to regulate itself up here that it is treating the extreme altitude as a training response. The more I train the more sensitive I become to insulin and therefore the less I need to inject. Yesterday I ran a basal insulin of .7 units per hour and used a total of just over 25 units.

I took the opportunity to get in a unique workout on the way up to the Stelvio glacier. Here is a picture Hoff took of me roller-skiing up the pass.

Stelvio Pass

Since my last post about the Ride Aroostook fundraiser I continued to train big volume for an additional two weeks. Over the fourteen days I had four notable over-distance workouts including a 100k double pole, a 104k skate, and two five hour and fifteen minute runs on the Franconia Falls/Ridge loop. I ran it once in each direction. This is my favorite running loop and starts at the Franconia Falls parking lot off of the Kancamagus highway in NH. From there I run the Franconia Falls trail for 11 miles where it connects to the Franconia Ridge trail that I follow over Mt Garfield, Mt Lafayette, Mt Lincoln, Mt Haytack, Mt Liberty, and Mt Flume. From the last peak, I descend back to Franconia Falls trail and parking lot.

After I finished the month long volume block which came in at just under 100 hours, I switched focus to intensity for a few weeks. My energy came up rapidly and I had some great sessions. There have been many good indicators of fitness including my pulsox reading. The picture below was taken while I was lying in bed. The top number indicates that my oxygen saturation is at 97% and my heart rate was at 30 bpm.

Pulsox

During all the training I still found some time to have some fun with Amber. On one of my off days we headed to the state fair where we bought unlimited ride passes. I had a much higher tolerance for thrill rides when I was a kid. Here are some before and after pictures.

Before
After

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