or, I never planned for Masters Track Nationals to go this way.
You've read about Mick winning the M45 3km on Tuesday and hopefully you heard about teammate Rich Meeker winning the M45 Points Race last night so that set up today, the final day of masters track nationals for me to strike gold. This is my 13th journey to track nationals in the past 15 years and the first time I didn't bring home gold.
Boy, will my wife be pissed when I tell her...
No, she won't be upset that I didn't win (in fact, with Rich's win, WE WON). No, she'll be upset that I'm hurt and won't be able to hug and kiss her like enjoy so much. Oh, wait, the drugs are talking.
The short of it is this. We finished the Points Race last night around 8pm but my legs felt great at the 7am warm-up cuz that's the way I train! Fast forward to the 1st event the M40 team sprint with Warren Geissert leading off, Rich in 2nd and me finishing it off. Warren does his usual great start, and Rich and I are tucked in behind his 6 foot 4 mass as he drops us off at 39mph. Rich is flying and we're looking good until we are coming out of turn 1 and Rich hits a couple of sponges, slowing his speed and then coming up track into my wheel. Down I go.
Season ending separated shoulder. In twenty years of racing I've not broken a collarbone or clavicle. Plenty of others have and NO ONE told me it was this painful!
Choices are to suck it up, go to the ER, or wait until Dr. Neal Stansbury is finished racing and he'll see me. 5 hours of pain like I have not experienced before (even when flattened by a triple trailer truck in 1990) BUT this tale has a happy ending. Rich's brother Tony, the savior that he is, drove me to see Dr. Neal who took X-Rays, popped my shoulder back in and sent me on my way. 100% relief. So, dislocated shoulder is a whole lot less painful than a separated shoulder! I'm typing with both hands.
End of the season? You bet. Debbie will be happy with that ;-) Peace out, Larry
Epilogue- the next event for me was the team pursuit. Too late to sub in a rider, I climbed aboard a bike and rode a 1/2 lap just in case we won gold. Why not, I paid for the entry. Anyway, I had tossed my skinsuit and numbers earlier and had Leo fish the number out of the trash so that I could start the race. Rich, Steven Hill and Dan Vogt lost the gold by 3 seconds. A great effort for 3 riders.