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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.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Making Memories

Say goodbye to summer and hello to the autumn months!  My favourite time of year is here.  Crisp cool mornings and warm afternoons.  Snow in the mountain peaks (or just everywhere in Canmore) and hues of yellow, orange, and red in the leaves.  Football season is upon us and my fantasy team has been drafted!  Not feeling overly confident with my roster this year…

Training has gone about as smoothly as I could hope for with limited sickness and injury.  I spent June in Canmore building fitness, making progress in the gym with a new strength program and learning the basics of climbing at the indoor climbing wall.  July was a busy month of training in Canmore with plenty of quality intensity sessions and routine strength sessions combined with solid volume.  I was a lucky guy to have Britt visit me for the month of July.  The hot weather had us making regular nighttime visits to the quarry for a cool off swim before bed.  Before the month was out we took a short road trip to Vernon accompanied by our friend, Jack Carlyle, to visit the resident banger Dudley Coulter.  A good time was had by all: soaking in some Okanagan Valley rays and shredding the mountain bike trails at Kal Park (well, let’s be honest, getting shredded up by the trails…).

Britt and I travelled home to Thunder Bay near the beginning of August for my sister’s much anticipated wedding!  It was great to visit family and meet my new brother-in-law’s relatives.  I can vividly recall my sister walking down the aisle with my father, an acoustic rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” being plucked in the background, looking beautiful, all grown up, and full of joy.  It was an emotional moment.  All in all it was a joyous celebration and I was bummed I had to jet out of town so quickly after the wedding.  Fortunately before the wedding I had enough time to spend a weekend at Britt’s camp on Lake Superior, catch up with a few friends, catch a few fish with Andrew (the groom) and his two best buds, and face off with the local NDC guys in a couple running races.  I’m happy to report I am now the record holder of the Lappe 3km Uphill Running Time Trial, being the first person to crack 11 minutes!  Who knows how long this will stand, but it was good for the ol’ confidence to dust my previous best time by over 30 seconds.

The reason I had to rush back to Canmore was our team’s Haig Glacier training camp.  The first few days were a little bumpy for me as I had to fend off an upset stomach, mild fever and loss of appetite, but I was able to push through it without missing much.  The focus was volume and volume was accomplished with roughly 50 hours of training in two weeks.  It’s always nice to strap on the skinny skis and train on real snow in the summer months.  I capped off the training block with a maximal effort on the roller ski treadmill, then enjoyed a few days of rest and recovery, hence the writing of a blog post haha.

The summer months were awesome and I’m looking forward to more good times this fall.  I’m super stoked on my schedule!  I travelled to Thunder Bay yesterday to spend the rest of September living with Britt and training in my old stomping grounds.  Then I’ve got a flight to Salt Lake City at the end of the month for a two week training camp in Park City, Utah where the warmer weather will be a welcome treat in October.  A long drive back to Canmore post-training camp and a week of recovery will bring me to skiing on Frozen Thunder and the first local races of the season.  From there it’s only a couple weeks of training in November and the competition season begins!

This is all starting to get a bit wordy so I’ll leave you with a bunch of photos because I know that’s the real reason you clicked on this post.

Top: Patrick and Kevin making their way up Powderface Mountain
Bottom: Seb and Kevin at the summit of Mt. Allan (2819m) 

Backflip central at the Calgary Stampede
Top and Bottom: Britt hanging out on Wind Ridge

Can you guess what we're about to do?
Top: Look Ma, I'm Flying!!!
Bottom: Britt taking over the parachute controls like a boss

WOOHOO!  Mission accomplished.
Top: The boys out in Kal Park, Vernon
Bottom: Jack and I goofing around on a run near Mara Lake

Top: The wedding party looking bright and summery.  Congrats Krista and Andrew!
Bottom: Britt and I dancing the night away

The best day of our glacier camp caught on camera by my awesome roommate, Russell!  It's easy to take the Haig Glacier for granted as I've been up there a number of times now, but it really is an incredible place.