When one door closes another door opens…
Alexander Graham Bell is given the credit for this piece of wisdom, though it sounds so universal I have to believe it’s actually far older. For sure I would’ve thought it went back to Buddha, or Plato, or Moses, or the like.
I’ve given this advice to my kids, and it’s always sounded good when I say it. But there are times I need it myself, to practice what I preach. What follows was my latest opportunity.
I’d been interested in the Great New York Running Exposition ever since I’d stumbled across it looking for a suitable first 100-mile race. I decided it would be a bit much for my first try, but I put it into my plan for 2017.
It’s a small race and their Facebook page said they fill up quickly, so I noted the opening day of registration (January 8) and set two reminders in my planner. I even included it in my work computer’s password, so I’d get a daily reminder.
Problem was, registration day was a Sunday. And I forgot. When I finally remembered later in the day and frantically called up the site, it was already too late. Best I could do was add my name to the wait list.
Well, rats. Nuts. Foo. Gosh dang it. Or to borrow a stronger phrase from one of my friends, “Fudge puppies.”
So now what?
I considered my options. I could wait to find out if a spot opens for me. It could happen; plans change. I thought about volunteering instead, to scope things out; it’s a somewhat tricky course. But in the meantime, I began looking for other 100-mile possibilities. For there is a second part to Mr. Bell’s quote:
…but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
I could have signed up for Kettle Moraine again, or Mohican, or the Indiana Trail 100, all excellent choices. But I’d set aside 2017 to do the offbeat or unusual, and those are long-established events. Initial poking around on the Internet didn’t come up with anything else promising, though
So after last Saturday’s group run, I was commiserating over coffee with one of our run club’s directors. “There’s a brand new race in northern Michigan,” she said. Why don’t you run that?”
We pulled up the website. Holy party line, Batman! This is a race along the Lake Michigan shoreline from Petoskey through Traverse City, then up the Old Mission Peninsula. It’s mostly on roads or paved trails, like the New York race. It’s close to our summer campground in Empire, which cuts the travel cost and allows some of our friends there to see me start and/or finish, if they so desire. And it’s in early June, just like New York. Thanks to not getting into that one, I could enter this one!
I signed up right then and there in the coffee shop. Sorry, Big Apple, you’ve been supplanted by the cherry. Still have you on the radar for next year, though.
Now I generally “warm up” for a 100K or 100-mile race by running a 50-miler a few weeks before to assess physical readiness and do a gear check. And right in mid-May was just the ticket:
Among the quirky parts of this race are beer supplied by the St. Pauli Girls (in costume) and age group awards of cuckoo clocks and German “weather houses.” Looking at the 2016 results, I’d have to really haul butt to get one, but that’s sort of beside the point.
So just like that, two big pieces of this year’s race schedule fell into place. See? Never a doubt! Thanks, Alex.
I hope my kids read this.