Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome! My name is Michael Somppi and I'm a competitive cross-country skier. I developed this blog so sponsors, family, friends and fans can keep up to date with my life as a full-time athlete. You can expect regular blog posts about racing, training, and life in general. Check out other sections of my blog by clicking on the tabs above.

Friday, 5 September 2008

2008 Summer Rendition, Episode 1: Go West Young Man!

It’s been a while…much has happened… In light of this fact, I will be posting a BRAND new series of articles called “2008 Summer Rendition” to bring everyone up to speed on all the exciting stuff that’s been going on. I have inevitably procrastinated this moment for far too long, so here goes.

It almost seems to be a taboo for Canadian youth not to head west at some point to explore the vast countryside and breath in the exhilarating mountain air. There’s just something about the majestic Rocky Mountains that attracts the free spirit in young people. And I am no exception. On July 7th, we packed up the Peace Train (formerly known as the Meatwagon…our team van) in the early hours of what would eventually be a hot summer day. With bikes and skibags on the custom roof rack or “trailer” and an enormous heap of bags and sh** in the back of the van, we were set. Eric yelled at the top of his lungs, “Take us West Skeletor!” and just like that, we were off. I suppose an explanation is required, Skeletor is the Peace Train’s new hood ornament. Basically it’s a skull with a pirate eye patch and if you happen to lift the eye patch, SURPRISE, there’s a little dude sitting inside! I know, it’s pretty sweet, eh?

The drive was epic as per usual. We made it to Swiftcurrent, same as last year, and stayed in the same motel as last year the first night. We all thought we had forgotten Christina back in TBay, but really, she was just passed out in the back of the Peace Train all hopped up, or should I say doped down, on Gravol for the entire drive. This is where she received the sarcastic nickname, Cheerful, from. The long drive is definitely worth it though. Once you spot the mountains, your cramped legs and general boredom completely vanish.

We spent the next two weeks doing dryland training in Canmore. I love training in Canmore during the summer for one main reason: it breaks up the long off-season into smaller, more manageable pieces. With different scenery and training locations, I’m never stuck doing that same old route over and over again until I go insane. The entire two weeks was filled with solid training, but there were a few workouts that were off the chain! The first workout I recall being tossi maatava (translation: extremely great) was a continuous zone 3 ski striding workout at the Canmore Nordic Centre. It was the first time our team did a continuous zone 3 this year and I could not believe how great it felt. The biggest difference between doing a continuous style as opposed to specified intervals is the feel of the workout. When doing continuous efforts it feels more like a race, more natural. Rather than constantly looking at my watch to see when I could stop going hard, I was watching the trail for the spots we had decided to start/stop at. It was a great feeling to not be so dependent on my watch for once.

Two days later was the “man up” workout, a three hour classic rollerski up Highwood Pass, predominately using double pole technique. I managed to only use kick double pole on a few flats and gradual climbs, while double poling every single massive hill. It was a tough challenge, but a good one. The final climb to the top of Highwood Pass is approximately 3.5km long with a reasonably steep average grade. To complete the challenge one must double pole this entire climb. The outcome: two heroes, Harry Seaton and myself. We defeated Highwood Pass with a total elevation climb of 925m over the 3 hour ski. A big shout out to Phil Wood, who completed the challenge of double poling the final Highwood Pass climb last year.


The Rocky Mountain Sheep that literally stopped me in my tracks during the Highwood Pass ski.


They're everywhere! At least these ones were a little smaller so I didn't feel like I was going to get charged and trampled.


Harry after conquering Highwood Pass.


Me after maning up and conquering Highwood Pass. Usain Bolt totally copied my pose. This picture was taken before the Olympics...what can I say, I set the trends.


The team standing on top of Highwood Pass.

The final workout that sticks out in my mind was the long road ride our team did. There’s just nothing that can compare to climbing up mountain passes and taking in stunning scenery and then flying back down again. Our route began in Canmore and first went West along the highway, then around Minewanka loop, straight to Tunnel Mountain, through Banff, up Mount Norquay, back to Canmore and to cap it all off, we climbed Silvertip Mountain before heading home. The best part of the ride had to be Mount Norquay. Going up the switchbacks, I always feel like I’m in some European stage race or something. And riding back down at 75km/h, passing cars, then slamming on the brakes to make it around a switchback isn’t so bad either. I think I set a new personal record for highest speed on a bike during this ride. I took all the corners just right coming down Silvertip and I’m pretty sure I broke 80km/h. I guess I’ll have to get a bike computer for next year so I can be certain.

Overall, it was a good two week training block before heading up to the Haig Glacier. Chillin’ in Canmore, doing lots of train bridge jumping, long board sessions, hustlin’ at the pool table in our house, and eating at the Grizzly Paw generally tends to bode well with our team.

Episode 2: “The Haig” in stores…uhhh…I mean, on my blog SOON!


Me at the top of Corey Pass. We attempted this hike/skiwalk last year, but took the wrong way and missed the views. We really missed out last year! Wow! It was crazy up there. You can see the trail we came up on to the right of me in the picture.


Luke setting up for a backflip off the train brige...oh sh**! There's a canoe. Don't go yet Luke! No worries though, he didn't land on the canoers...phew.

33 comments:

Thomsen D'Hont said...

dude, we totally missed out on Cory pass last summer...crap.

Anonymous said...

Asking questions are actually nice thing if you are not understanding something fully, except this article offers good
understanding even.

Feel free to surf to my homepage; Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet

Anonymous said...

Excellent weblog right here! Additionally your website quite a bit up very
fast! What web host are you the usage of?

Can I get your associate link on your host? I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

Visit my web page Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags

Anonymous said...

Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites
I stumbleupon every day. It's always helpful to read through articles from other writers and use something from their web sites.

Take a look at my website ... NFL Jerseys Wholesale

Anonymous said...

Woah! I'm really digging the template/theme of this site. It's simple,
yet effective. A lot of times it's tough to get that "perfect balance" between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say you have done a awesome job with this. Additionally, the blog loads super fast for me on Internet explorer. Superb Blog!

my weblog - Louis Vuitton Handbags

Anonymous said...

You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation but I
in finding this matter to be actually one thing that I believe I'd by no means understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely huge for me. I'm taking a look forward in your next
put up, I'll attempt to get the grasp of it!

Visit my website ... Basket Air Jordan

Anonymous said...

I every time spent my half an hour to read this blog's articles everyday along with a mug of coffee.

Feel free to visit my web-site; Michael Kors

Anonymous said...

Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post!
It's the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!

Feel free to surf to my site Cheap Jerseys3

Anonymous said...

What i do not understood is in fact how you're now not really much more neatly-appreciated than you might be right now. You are so intelligent. You know therefore considerably relating to this matter, made me individually imagine it from so many numerous angles. Its like women and men don't seem to
be involved until it's something to do with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. At all times care for it up!

my weblog: slc-wireless.com

Anonymous said...

It is the best time to make some plans for the future
and it is time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

Check out my web page: Louis Vuitton Bags

Anonymous said...

If you would like to obtain a great deal from this post then you have to apply these methods to your won web site.


Here is my web page ... Louis Vuitton Outlet Online

Anonymous said...

I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!

my website; Solde Air Max

Anonymous said...

What's up it's me, I am also visiting this web page on a regular basis, this web site is really pleasant and the users are genuinely
sharing fastidious thoughts.

my website - Mario Lemieux Jersey

Anonymous said...

I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
I'll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I'm quite certain I'll learn a lot of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

Feel free to surf to my weblog; http://www.explorethecapabilities.com/cheapjerseys.html

Anonymous said...

At the end of the Nugget Bridge recruiting for Team Rocket,
she challenged him to a Double Battle, along with the three digit code for your country.
Now many people are looking for a simple, quick-loading, click-and-play kickboxing game, Brother video game repair shops' Kickboxing is a side-scrolling, kickboxing-based fighting game. To play, the party guest tosses the bean bags, one with several items of women's clothing large enough for the bride to put on for
a show.

Also visit my webpage; Web Page

Anonymous said...

Great beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your site,
how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped
me a acceptable deal. I were tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast
offered bright clear concept

Visit my web-site: Jordan Femme

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Its actually awesome post, I have got much clear
idea about from this piece of writing.

Also visit my site :: Chaussures De Football Pas Cher

Anonymous said...

Information can be refreshed manually or automatically
and units can be set to metric or imperial English both options
are scientifically impossible wouldn't it be better if the travel insurance covers medical expenses too. Because of our changing storm chasers tornadoes patterns across the northern hemisphere. On cloudy days you just want to wrap up in a bout of untimely poor storm chasers tornadoes and ruin your plans.

my web-site ... storm chasing schools

Anonymous said...

Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this info.


Feel free to surf to my weblog Abercrombie and Fitch

Anonymous said...

Unquestionably believe that that you said. Your favourite justification seemed to be on the internet the simplest factor to keep in mind of.

I say to you, I certainly get annoyed whilst folks think about issues that they just don't recognize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also defined out the whole thing with no need side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

Feel free to surf to my web-site ... Michael Kors Outlet

Anonymous said...

Hi there are using Wordpress for your blog platform?

I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up my own.
Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own blog?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Look at my page: Learn More Here

Anonymous said...

Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.


Also visit my page: Air Max Pas Cher

Anonymous said...

I really like what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever
work and reporting! Keep up the fantastic works guys
I've added you guys to my own blogroll.

Feel free to surf to my website Read More

Anonymous said...

At this moment I am going to do my breakfast,
after having my breakfast coming again to read further news.


Stop by my web site; related site

Anonymous said...

I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your
blogs really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. Many thanks

Take a look at my blog Sac A Main Louis Vuitton

Anonymous said...

Great goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you are just too magnificent. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a terrific web site.

Also visit my web site: Abercrombie France

Anonymous said...

Hurrah! In the end I got a web site from where I be capable
of genuinely obtain useful information regarding my study and
knowledge.

My weblog ... Oakley Sunglasses

Anonymous said...

I do not write many comments, however after browsing a great deal of responses
on this page "2008 Summer Rendition, Episode 1: Go West Young Man!".

I actually do have a few questions for you if it's okay. Could it be simply me or does it appear like some of the comments look like they are written by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are writing at additional sites, I would like to follow anything new you have to post. Could you post a list of every one of all your shared sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

Feel free to visit my web site :: LeBron James Shoes

Anonymous said...

Wow, awesome weblog layout! How lengthy have you been blogging for?

you made blogging look easy. The whole look of your website is magnificent, as neatly as the content material!


My web site Air Max Femme

Anonymous said...

Excellent way of describing, and fastidious paragraph to take
information on the topic of my presentation focus, which i am going to convey in school.



Feel free to surf to my web page :: Louis Vuitton Purses

Anonymous said...

My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post's to be exactly what I'm looking for.
Does one offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome website!

Here is my blog post ... Mulberry Outlet UK

Anonymous said...

Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular
post! It is the little changes that produce the most important changes.
Many thanks for sharing!

My weblog ... Gucci Sito Ufficiale

Anonymous said...

Great beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog website?
The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little
bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear
idea

Feel free to surf to my site: Sac Guess