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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, 1 August 2017

Having Fun and Training Hard

It’s the heart of summer.  I don’t bother to check the forecast anymore.  In Kelowna, it’s above 30C and sunny.  I turn the kettle on at 6:30am and I’m out the door early to finish my morning workout before 10am.  The afternoon siesta is real; prime recovery time.  Early dinner and out for an evening training session when the air is cooling off and the sky is turning hues of pink and orange.  This has become a standard focused training day for me in Kelowna.  Loving it!

Evening ski in our new backyard with my TBay training partner, Greg.
Before any of this BC routine stuff, I was home in TBay for the Alignment Training Camp with a bunch of skiers from across the country.  The 10-day camp had a great mix of intensity sessions and training locations, plus it was extremely well organized!  Big thanks to the volunteers and the NTDC board for your work behind the scenes to make it all happen!

I was stoked to be able to participate in the entire training camp after receiving a new smaller hand brace a couple days before the camp started.  The small brace gave me wrist mobility while keeping my thumb immobile, allowing me to strap on a ski pole and give’r!  It wasn’t perfect, but it did the job.  Literally 3 days after receiving the brace and testing it out, I was racing downtown using a pole in my left hand after going for a month without one.

Sprint Qualifier (Thanks for the photos skinnyski.com!)
Downtown TBay rollerski race!  Had an awesome time racing. So happy my new left hand brace allowed me to participate!  Big thanks to everyone who made this event possible!

video

Even made the local news, thanks to the hype surrounding the rollerski race!  Really appreciate the coverage from Thunder Bay's media!  Thanks for recording the clip on your phone Timo!

Brian Gregg checking out the view of Sawyer's Bay from the top of the Chest on the Sleeping Giant.  Great to have Team Gregg in TBay for the camp!
Late night cake cutting with the Bride and Groom.  It was amazing to share this special day with you two!  Congratulations Amanda and Nate!

Last day in Thunder Bay.  Kayak around Caribou Island on Superior with my mom.  You'll have to excuse my poor pano skills on this one.  The boat was tippy ok!
Saying good-bye to friends and family in Thunder Bay is never easy.  The time had come though, so I was back on the plane, off to start my BC life!  I hit the ground running, so to speak.  The day after flying in I was doing recon by foot and bike around the Rutland area where Britt and I are living this summer, searching for potential rollerski roads.  I'm feeling pretty lucky because right from our door I found a 4km climb with quiet side roads that have been perfect for rollerski intensity sessions.

Basically, I haven’t stopped exploring since arriving here.  Greg (room-mate, fellow Thunder Bayian and all around killer dude) has been showing me the best spots and I joined the Telemark gang for a quality intensity session up the 1000m ascent to the Telemark Ski Club.  My mom visited town and surprise, surprise… we explored more!  I capped off my 5-week training block in style, with a striding intensity session up the Big White ski hill.

Enderby Cliffs summit with Britt and Cash.  No problem, eh Cash?! 
Rose Valley run.  Greg's new favourite running spot.  I'm holding out judgement until I do more trails, but I have to admit, Rose Valley is going to be tough to beat.
Okanagon Lake views from Knox Mountain
Chilling at Skaha Lake near Epenticton with mom...don't need to leave the valley for a beach vacation!
Okanagon winery life ain't so bad either.  My mom and I certainly enjoyed the views and a glass or two at Gray Monk.

Myra Canyon Trestles Railway Trail.  Super cool 12km restored railway trail with 18 trestle bridges.  Worth checking out!
Striding intervals up Big White to finish off the training block!  Pretty luck to have a girlfriend and room-mate to join me for this stuff!
It’s pretty much been non-stop since I arrived and finally I’ve made it to my second major rest week of the year.  Since my first one wasn’t all that restful with driving halfway across the country, I have every intention of being a sloth this week and letting the body recover well.  Mega-chill time.

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