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Friday, January 27, 2006

Thanks for all of your heart felt replies to my last email update. I am back in the states and it's really nice to be with the family and remember my Aunt Susan together. She was an amazing women and huge supporter of my ski racing charge.

As for the recovery:
The last few days I was in Austria I took a couple runs, even some in GS gates, on the flats and my knee felt like new. My lateral balance even felt on par- what a nice surprise. I will be back in Austria on Monday and will train at Hinterriet (a great training location an hour outside of Salzburg, Austria) on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then I'm off to Italy to meet up with the team (SRI) for a couple of slalom starts.


posted by Warner at 1/27/2006 10:26:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

A longer road
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hello all,

So this is where we stand... the bone bruise proves to be more of a nuisance than expected. I spend the last week stashed away in Anif, a small town just outside of Salzburg, Austria, nestled in between 100 acres of farmland and the autobahn while the rest of my team raced in southern Austria (a few hours away). Without wheels I caught a ride to Rif, our dryland training center, every morning with a handicapped local hero Thomas Geisisberg who won gold in the Athens Olympics.

After a week of double sessions, it was time to see where we stood. Yesterday, I gave my knee an on-snow test just to realize the road to recovery is longer than I hoped. On flat to moderate terrain my knee felt absolutely perfect, but with steeper terrain and icy conditions the deep knee pain was back. Although it’s definitely better than before, it’s still not race ready.

This week I’ll be training at Rif and I will be on-snow doing drills on the flats.

Sadly it'll probably be another two weeks before we're back.

Hope all is well, w

posted by Warner at 1/18/2006 11:38:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

A premature ending to a trying week
Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A premature end to a trying week

Yesterday in the GS, I had a mediocre first run putting me in 6th place and 7 tenths off the lead. I wasn’t overly happy with my run as I pinched off the line on a few crucial gates, but either way I was definitely in striking distance. Pinching off the line means that I did not give myself enough room at the top of the turn.

The second run I was fired up and ready strike. I took a slightly higher line skiing extremely well. Nonetheless, coming onto the flats I took an aggressive line and ended up straddled a GS panel which I now know is not a pleasant experience, but I can’t say I wasn’t going for it.

Unfortunately, that error left me with a bruised back, a sore right shin, and a bone bruise on my lower tibia plateau. In a futile attempt to stay in the running for the Nor-Am Slalom Title, I raced today. The first run I started 5th and could handle the pain from the bruises as I finished in 7th place. However, my moderately respectable first run made me start 23rd on the second run. The rough ruts of the late starting number made it far more difficult to keep my skis from chattering. Each chatter sent a deep pain into my left knee which made me ski conservatively and I soon straddled yet again.

After assessing the situation with my coach Wolfi, I am leaving the Nor-Am series early to rest my knee and get ready for more racing in Europe. I am still flying to Europe on Friday and will continue rehab with our trainers in Salzburg, Austria.

It was a disappointing week, but these moments are indicative of ski racing. I expect to be back in full force within two weeks.

I hope your week is off to a better start than mine. w

posted by Warner at 1/04/2006 07:21:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Windham is sweeter than Hunter

I hope all of you had at least a few brilliant, exciting moments over New Year's Eve. Mine was less than exciting and borderline infinitely weak; but nonetheless, quite pleasant. I think I'm getting old. It consisted of a bunch of guys sitting around watching 24 onDVD with a couple beers each. The bottom line is our weak festivities will keep us healthy for the heart of the season.

2006 is off to a good start with a few good turns and good times (on and off the hill). I've been in Windham, New York for the past four days training. Today started a four day series of Nor-Ams at Hunter Mountain (the schedule is GS, GS, SL, and SL). It's back to Nor-Am racing rather than the Eastern Cups which means the competition is far more fierce and aggressive as a World Cup start for next year is on the line. After a successful series in Sugarloaf, Maine it was time to put our speed and tactics to a test. And well... let's just say we lost in our first test at Hunter. The snow conditions and terrain were different. The only way to win at Hunter with soft snow is to go straight, limit yourmistakes, and hold your line without pivoting. Today we finished 7thon the day and 4th (I think, but when it's not better it really doesn't matter) on the second run.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I will straighten out the line, have more ankle flexion, eliminate the pivot at the top of the turn, and push for the podium.

7th is no way to earn a World Cup spot.

Happy New Year, w

posted by Warner at 1/04/2006 07:19:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Good runs and tactics at the Loaf

First off, I would like to thank Sue Manter for taking care of me forthe last few days. We, Team SRI (Ski Racing International), reallyappreciated your company and generosity.

The last few days at the Loaf were great. Winning a few races was abig confidence booster; yet more importantly, lessons were learned. Ilearned a great deal about finding the thin line between fast skiingand imminent devastation on the race course. Basically the key, in myview, is finding the one or two problem sections of each course andbeing able to slow down in those sections while still going fullthrottle in the others. Finding the thin line has been an ongoingprocess for the past year so it is nice to see some progress. It'snot perfect yet, but it's a step in the right direction.

Tuesday in the GS I found the happy medium. This line choice wasdefinitely slower in certain sections, but it was fast on the day. Wewon the race by nearly 1.4 seconds and scored a 16 point race (whichis a personal best in GS). The most exciting part of the day wasseeing SRI dominate the top 5. Mark Heinrich Wallace was 3rd and ChrisFrank was 4th.

Yesterday we raced Super G, which is a bit straighter than GS andallows each racer to negotiate turns at a much faster clip- which isalways a fun. After some fast skiing we were lucky enough to win therace by barely beating out some good competition (two tenths of asecond).

All and all, we walked away with some good hardware and as a smarter skier.Now it's time to hit the malls and finish shopping for season.

MerryChristmas, Happy Hanukah, and all the rest!

Take care, w

posted by Warner at 1/04/2006 07:14:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 1 comments

Back at the Loaf

Hello all,I hope all of you are doing exceptionally well as the Holiday seasonis upon us. Today started a three day race series (GS, GS, and SG) at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine. It was great to be back racing at the Loaf.

I drew bib 12 and skied the first run with a very direct line. I took the Bode line- pinning off each turn with an occasional pivot, or speed-check, to keep me in the course. My line was clearly more direct and faster than anyone else's as I took a 1.4 second lead over the competition. Fast skiing is always fun and never gets old.

The second run did not go as planned. The fastest skier from the first run is required to start 30th on the second run. After a fast first run, I took the same cut-off-the-line mentality. However, it did not work. I nearly blew out of the course in every turny section. Despite the difficult course conditions and awful tactics, I kept going and finally crossed the finish line with a pathetically slow second run time. I thought it was all over, but luckily my fast first run kept me on top of the podium.

We'll try to be a bit more consistent tomorrow.

posted by Warner at 1/04/2006 07:13:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments