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Australian Professional Cyclist

Day 7 – Livigno

  Day Seven: 14/02/23

Resting Heart Rate: 62bpm

Blood Saturation: 94

Big day today. Not so much in numbers/stats however I worked really hard. I ascended up the steep ski slopes for 2hrs, pushing through burning muscles, altitude headache and blisters etc. I got to the top and felt satisfied that I’d had a solid workout. The slopes are so steep that I spend most of the time stepping sideways, one foot just over the other, then switched sides. It was too steep to just toe into the snow, the calf muscles would burn after just a few steps. I tried the duck walk on the shallow sections. In any case, the 500 metres of vertical climbing was solid and demanding on my muscles, lungs, ankles and lower back.

The descent back down was absolutely terrifying. I couldn’t find a track to follow so I once again found myself in the middle of nowhere. No sounds around me and very, very deep snow. Then I came across a cliff face to navigate my way down and it was SCARY! It was steep and the rock surface under me was unstable, rocks where falling everywhere. When I lost traction and reached for the rocks around me, they’d just crumble in my hands. I found myself just sliding down the mountain among the sliding rubble at times, I knew I was in a dangerous situation.

Finally, I reached snow again however I soon felt myself completely empty and weak. I had used a lot of nervous energy that I must learn to control. I’m sure I spent a good 30-45 minutes in a panic. The end of the hike was just a slow slog through knee to waist deep snow. I took my crampons off to see if it was easier to drag my legs through the snow or to see if I could gently step without sinking but I was just gone – blurry vision and all. I had no strength, balance or energy. Once I could see the village I started to use the steep slopes to slide down on my bum or face first on my belly, anything that would get me down as soon as possible. I made it back to the hotel in a daze and then ate a lot …. enjoyed a bottle of sprite!

8:30am: Snow Hike

Distance: 6.87km

Moving Time: 2hr04min

Elevation Gain: 534m

Average HR: 138bpm

Max HR: 181bpm

Calories: 1,113

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