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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.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Mountains, Triathlons and Lake of the Woods

Another summer is in the books and the autumn season is upon us.  Football is here and the kids are back in school.  I’m already one loss into the fantasy football season… yup, rough start.  Since my last post I’ve been through 2 volume blocks and recently completed our team’s second testing cycle of the year.  Training has been steady and gains are being made.  I’ll rhyme off a few highlights:
  • Had a couple awesome mid-summer altitude runs in the mountains with my teammate, Bob.  We made the trip out west to attend the wedding of the amazing duo, Amanda and Chris Butler.
    Beautiful wedding ceremony in the Rockies with horses grazing in the backdrop.  Congrats Amanda and Chris!
    Bob and I were loving life on a 30km trail run in Sunshine meadows.

  • 30+ hr training week during our NDC men’s training camp in Hayward, WI (plus 36 holes of golf… walking… BIG week!)
  •  Completed my first 100km rollerski in 5hr 22min through hard downpours of rain during our Hayward camp.  I was sure glad to have the company of good teammates and road support from our dedicated coaching staff that day!
  •  4th place overall finish in the Sleeping Giant Xterra Triathlon.  My swim training involves jumping off stuff into water and swimming back to shore, so the 1km swim was a daunting challenge.  As one of five people without a wetsuit I clamored out of the water in 37th place.  Good thing I’m a little better when it comes to a 24km mountain bike and a 17km trail run.  I hammered all the way up into 4th place and missed out on the podium by only 20 seconds!  Triathlons are a little out of my normal training regime, but I had a blast throwing a bib on and givin’r out there!
    That's me rocking the Rudy Project bib shorts haha.  Lining up with the people in wetsuits who know what they're doing.
  • Substantial gains in fitness were obvious during our recent testing week.  I came into our team’s May testing week a tad out of shape after a month break from training.  This time around my data actually resembled a high performance athlete in our treadmill running test, I was 57 seconds faster in our 3km Uphill Running TT, and I considerably bettered my times in our Uphill Rollerski TTs.  The shape is coming.
  • Too many post-workout swim days to count!  This may have been my best summer to date for post-workout swims!  A few of my swim locations include: Lake Superior, Current River, Lake Placid (Cresthill Resort, Hayward), Lake of the Woods, the Canmore Quarry, and Cedar Lake (Golden, BC… major rope swing booyah!).  My coldest summer swim had to be in Lake O’hara… if you could even call it a swim.  It was more like a jump in and hustle outta there kind of swim.
    Above: My coldest swim of the summer.  Lake O'hara dunk.
    Below: Excited for a post-workout swim in Lake of the Woods!
    Shortly after arriving in Kenora for Britt's 8 month med school placement we were being won over by the city's lakeside market.  Here's Britt enjoying a market cupcake with her new workplace, the Kenora hospital, in the backdrop.
    The Kenora Skyline (photo credit goes to Britt on this one)

Heading out fishing on Lake of the Woods with our local guide Carl and med student Keri.  I was lucky enough to accompany Britt and the rest of the med students for a fishing trip during orientation week.  Britt was our photographer for the day... and somehow she still caught at least as many fish as I did...
Thanks to Carl's expert lake knowledge we netted our fair share of walleye for a quality shore lunch that afternoon!

I have a busy travel schedule ahead for the autumn months.  Saturday this week I’ll be traveling to Park City, Utah for a 3 week training camp in conjunction with the National Team and other training centers.  I’m looking forward to putting in some quality training hours at elevation with all my skiing buddies from around Canada.  Afterwards, I’ll be visiting Britt in Kenora over the thanksgiving holidays and hopefully adding to my post-workout swim days in Lake of the Woods.

Thanks for checking in!