Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2009 - A Time to Break Out!

Good day everyone.



It is a GREAT day to be alive, eh? Although 2008 is quickly coming to an end, do not forget the birthday celebration tomorrow, our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember the "Reason for the Season". It is not about buying that latest gadget or outfit, but about being all we can be with what God blessed us with & TO SHARE IT with our fellow man (& woman). There are plany of people who will not celebrate Christmas as advertized so it is up to us to bring Christmas Cheer to them!

For those of us who are still stuck within our own, self set limitations, know that God madse us to be all that we can be & to do all we can do. We should not limit ourselves based upon our own perception of reality. Often we are looking at the world through rose colored glasses. You never knew of a tree that only grew half way did you? No, it grew as tall as it could grow. As we sit down & begin to write down our goals & what "boundaries" we wil break out of in 2009 (you are writing them down aren't you?) be sure to S-T-R-E-T-C-H yourself. There is no sense in just doing something that you are comfortable with now is there? We all need to reah outside our comfort zone.

I wish all of you a Blessed Christmas & may you break out of all of your limiting boundaries in 2009 & beyond.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Blistering Pace

Well - - - - - - - Mother Road 100 (Part 2) is now behind me & I have learned a lot from my experience. Taking off at 9 AM on a beautiful Saturday morning gafe no hint of what was ahead of me. As the miles clicked on, I met & talked to many, many wonderful people from all different places. I had a warm feeling inside that I was not alone in my crazy, off kilter world of ultra running and that there are actually other beings who share in this love.

The countryside was beautiful & many passer byers (hmmm, is that a word?) honked or waved. The small towns that we ran through were great. They obviously had no idea of our lunitic tendencies. My friend & neighbor (Craig J.) was a life saver as we played leap frog all day with me running & him keeping all of my needs (E.g. Powerbars, drinks, pretzels, gloves, headlights, etc.) in his car. One thing that mere mortal runners NEVER think of when running is "the call of the wild". Needless to say, toilet paper was not one of the things in my goodie bag & restrooms are defintely not conveniently located. You can imagine (maybe you can't) how difficult it is to run with your legs crossed. Anyway, you can use some of your imagination for the rest of this story.

Most of the day I was about an hour ahead of my drop dead time. This went on pratically all day & into the night. The strange thing though, is that sometime between 9 AM Saturday morning & sundown, I must have overlooked that warming feeling on the bottom of my left foot. By the time I got to the 1/2 way point at the aid station in Weatherford, OK, I realized that a blister was a stong probability. Luckily there was a doctor there (a marathoner as well) who took a look. He asked me to sit down & take off my shoe (this was very funny as I could not even come close to bending over & removing a shoe). The look on his face when he looked at the bottom of "mi pies" was enough. A HUGE blister over most of the ball of my left foot. He did what he could, taped me up & wished me luck. In addition to this, I have strange shaped toenails as well from all the pounding mileage.


Getting back outside (after my body temperature dropped from sitting inside) caues me to shiver uncontrollably. I could not recall ever having been so cold. I jumped in the car & cranked the heat. "This was going to be tough" I told myself. Eventually, I got myself out & going but by now, everyone was gone, it was still dark as it was now after midnight & my foot was toast. Craig informed me that I was no longer ahead of schedule but was "right on schedule" That meant that I could not slack any more & had to keep a pretty steady pace the remainder of the race (50 more miles). After another mile, I realized that this was not to happen today & that it was time to have a reality check.

Although I chose to pull out here, I did best my previus 50 mile time by an hour!

Looking back now & talking to others, I am taking notes as to what I need to change in my training & planning. Different socks for one, & possibly changing out shoes a few times throughout the day.

I am now taking some needed rest for the ole' tootsies but am scouring the internet for another 100 mile with which to redeem myself & once again, push outside one's boundaries.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mine Your Step

Well it is just two days until the Mother Road 100 - Part & a real test to push my boundaries. I am anxious, excited, scared & everything in between. Have I trained enough? Have I spent enough time preparing? Am I ready? I believe that the answer is obviously NO. We are never truly ready to step outside our comfort zone but that is just it, we need to know the feeling of crossing the boundaries, to feel the exhilaration of overcoming a previously set limitation or boundary.

For the past several months, I have been running & preparing. Unfortunately my job takes me out of the USA so I cannot always get in that important "long run" every week. Last week was one of those times. I had been in Egypt for 10 days & was approximately 5 Km from the Red Sea. What a view & what a chance to run along the Red Sea; to stand where Moses had stood (or at least close). I asked the guys at the camp where I was working where to go & they pointed to graded dirt road that curved around & supposedly went all the way to the Read Sea.

Just before heading out, they ran over & told me to make sure to stay on the graded road. I wasn't sure so I asked "Why?". Well, back during the war between Egypt & Israel, this area contained many land mines (Yikes!). The area that had not been graded may still contain un-exploded mines! That will surely put a crimp in your running, eh? Well, I took off & after about a kilometer or so, the road seemed to fade away. Visions of missing limbs (my limbs) came to mind & rather than try to find where the road actually went, I quickly turned around & headed back. What's a few dozen 1 km loops back & forth. Oh well, so much for a good last long run before MR100.

My next blog entry should be very interesting as I will be able to share my experience of "going the distance" & "knowing no boundaries."


God Bless You.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Between the Ears

What is actually between our ears? Some think that our brains are there. Actually, our entire reality is there. Our life's experience is present as a culmination of all of what we have experienced so far & our interpertation of how those experiences relate to us. It is through OUR eyes that our reality is created. Whether it is true or not, we make it so according to what we decide. This is where the self limiting boundaries are set or overcome.

Tonight I sat in on a presentation on Psychology and Running. In that presentation, we were told how our mental view of life; our life; become our reality. How we play these mental games to either convince ourselfs to do or not do something. We were told that we need a road map to help us achieve our goals whatever they may be. With out this map we are like Alice in Wonderland when she met the Cheshire Cat.

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?' `That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat. `I don't much care where--' said Alice. `Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat. `--so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation. `Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.'"

We are sure to achieve some result in everything that we do but unless we can overcome our self limiting boundaries, we are doomed for medeocrity rather than the greatness God has planned for us.

We can accomplish miracles with faith & love for God & a burning desire to walk with Him through everything. It reminds me of watching Tony Melendez & his wonderful gift of musinc & song -

Ants


What comes to mind when you think of ants; maybe a ruined picnic or biting fire ants? Think about it for a minute. In your mind's eye, picture an ant walking across a picnic table. You move something in its way. What happens? He (or she) goes around. You move the item in front of it again & the same thing happens. Let's say that now, you string a whole bunch of things across the whole table. What happens now? The ant may move to the edge of the table & even try to go along the edge or the underside. If he can't, he may just climb right over the top.

Now you are probably asking yourself what does this have to do with "knowing no boundaries". Look at it this way, the ant has some goal (walking to the other side of the table). It is not aware of the option of "giving up" or just going part of the way. Once on his way, the ant will continue to try & try & try & try until either he reaches his destination or you squash him.


Can't we relate this to our lives? We set a goal only to get only so far & then say "I can't do it. It is too hard. I do not know how. I am not good enough." We are constantly limiting ourselves personally, professionally, spiritually, physically & in any other way you can think of.

You Can If You Think You Can!
If you think you are beaten, you are,If you think you dare not, you don't.If you like to win, but you think you can't,It is almost certain you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost,For out in the world we find,Success begins with a fellow's will.It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,You've got to think high to rise,You've got to be sure of yourself beforeYou can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always goTo the stronger or faster man.But soon or late the man who wins,Is the man who thinks he can.
~ C. W. Longenecker ~

With strong faith in God & God's plan for us, we can truly know no boundaries in what we can do or accomplish. In St. Paul's letter to the Phillipians (Phil 4:13) he states " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." He didn't say some things, he said ALL things.

As you reflect on where your self set boundaries are, think ANT POWER & "never give up, never give up, never give up" ~ Sir Winston Churchill~

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Some days . . . .

Sunday was the Turkey & TATURS 50km trail run (2x 25km loops - one in each direction). I was very curious as to how the day was to pan out as it had been raining the day before & it was supposed to rain the day of the race. Although the trail was going t be plenty muddy (yea mud!), I was not looking forward to running 50km in the rain AND THE MUD. The Trail Gods were smiling that morning as it was not raining & was perfect running weather. It was dark for the first 15 - 20 minutes until the sun came up & then it was a perfect running day. The trail was very peaceful & serene. Once all the runners were out of the way (which was not long) as they were far ahead, the birds, & frogs put on a concert like no other. What a way to hear God & know His presence in the world.
Aside from my spiritual focus, I was definitely focusing on pink ribbons with black dots. If not, I was sure to get lost. There were also plates nailed to trees pointing out the direction of the second loop (Oh, did I mention that there were trees, trees, trees & more trees. Also an occasional rock or two or three . . or billions.).

There were a few times that we came up to the top & had grand views of the Arkansas river & downtown Tulsa. Coming out into the open allowed for wonderful breezes to cool me off .

The aid stations were second to none & the volunteers were great (even if one had an OSU shirt that WASN'T Oklahoma State University - just kidding!). Trail running is unlike any other sort of running a trail runners have never met a stranger & are always first to extend a hand or say an encouraging word. This is even from the front runners as they whiz by.

There was one point (Lip Breaker) where I thought more about Lung Breaker than any other part. I was glad to get the top. You couldn't really run up it as there were plenty of rocks (did I mention that already?).

As I am working towards Mother Road 100 - Part 2 in November, it was nice to see an encouraging sign on one of the trees.

Now, coming into the end of the first loop (25 km), I dug into my drop bag to see if there was anything that I could not live without & when I found nothing that I needed, I took off back down the trail to run the loop in reverse. For some odd reason, some of the trail looked different. Hmmm, maybe I was focused on those darn pink spotted ribbons to notice everything. I expected to pass runners going the opposite direction on the first loop, but when I passed one for the second time, my mind was going wild. Maybe there was a second part of the course where the runners pass. When I passed two additional runners going the opposite way & crested a hill that I could not remember, I knew something was not right. I turned around & decided that if I wasn't too far off course, would get my bearings & head off again. Much to my surprise when I turned around, I came out into the open right where the 2nd loop was supposed to end (the race finish). I quickly tore off my race number so as not to have any of the spec-TATURS think that I finished well.

What a disappointment. I was mad at myself for not paying attention. This was my first race in 10 years that I did not finish. If there was a good side to things, at least I got in a good 20 mile trail run.

Live & learn. I need to learn to watch trail markers better.

As always - - Know No Boundaries.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Nothing like my morning shot of running (better than coffee)

My early Saturday morning runs are great - they are better than a double shot of expresso or a hot cup of your favorite Joe (I always though coffee's name was Juan Valedez). It is great to be up & active & to be in tune with the world BEFORE most prole are awake.


Anyway, it is always nice to get out & get the ol' bones moving. Getting up early is another one of those so called "boundaries" that we often run into. "How can you get up so early? Aren't you tired? I could never get up that early on a Saturday. I need my rest after working all week." So once again, here is the proverbial self fullfilling prophesy - "I could never get up that early on a Saturday." That is the key to Know No Boundaries, the fact that people limit themselves in EVERY ASPECT of their lives by this negative self talk. The most important conversations that you will ever have in you life, are those that you have with youself! If you say yo can or if you say you can't, you are right.

Why don't you say YES to possibility, say YES to your desire to life a healthier life (morning runs are a great start), say YES to studying harder in school or working more diligently at work, sSay YES to being a more positive person to everyone you come in contact with and say YES to GOD. It is GOD who gives us the strength & fortitude to break through the boundaries that we feel are shackling us to a life of limited possibilities. Pray for help to Know No Boundaries.


I even found a TATUR singing Numa Numa. You'll be singing it all day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duGNW_b7C9o


Speaking again of boundaries, the Turkey & TATUR 50km trail run is Sunday September 14th on Turkey Mountain in Tulsa so I will once again, push my boundaries. I cannot figure this one out. It is not really a mounitain & there are no turkeys on it (unless yo call us trail runners turkeys). And as for TATUR (maw said to keep away from them thar tatur's. Is it tatur as in Po-tatur? I guess not. It is Tulsa Area Trail Ultra Runners). I wonder if Mr. Potato Head is a TATUR? He looks to be out on the road. Hmmmmm, I don't know why I am thinkng about mashed potatos.


Well as you go into a new week, take a long look at you life & your self talk & tell youself that YOU CAN do whatever you sent your mind to. Then - - - - DO IT!



Know No Boundaries

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Disapointment


Well, the Big One came & went. I was really psyched for this run but it was not my night. Dinner just didn't sit well (need I say more?). It started off GREAT around 9:00 - 9:15 PM. Although I had hoped that the weather would have colled off, it was H O T!. Oh did I mention a zillion percent humidity as well? I made it about 13 miles & then had to hang it up. There was no body more disappointed at me than I was. Unfortunately I reall beat myself up all the next day. Sometimes the mind is strong & the body is weak. I need to really be aware of WHAT I eat & WHEN I eat it. I will not do this again. I am looking for another opportunity ro run long. I might just have to plan additional miles around my normal Saturday morning long run.


I really need to work on this mental game as well. I mean, that is what it is right; a mental game? The mind needs to be like a steel trap with regards to its committment & it needs to fool the body that it is not that bad. I'll work on it.


Any suggestions?


Until next time - - Know No Boundaries

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Big One

Saturday evening we have our B I G run. I am using it for my Mother Road 100 training run. It looks to be about 51 miles (yikes!). We will start around 9:00 PM (ish). Knowing my pace, I will probably get back to the house around the time that my daughter is finishig a late breakfast - around 11:00 AM Sunday.

I am pretty psyched (is that how it is spelled??) about it as well as a bit apprehensive. My pace is slow so I often end up running alone. At night, it could be a bit SPOOKY (lions & tigers & bears Oh My!)

Oh well. It should be a blast anyway. At least I can sleep the rest of Sunday when I get back home.

Know No Boundaries is also beginning to take a more solid shape. I am waiting on final approval from the IRS for my 501C3 status. Then we can begin seeking donations. The website should also be up soon. It may not be totall high tech at first, but I will be working with our Director of Technology on adding plenty of fluff.

Until next time my friends. And as always, Know No Boundaries!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In The Dark


Well friends, I had my FIRST night run. What a rush! Several of us met along one portion of the Creek Turnpike Trail @ about 10:45 PM & got in a good 14 miles. It was very surreal for me at first. Headlamps bobbing up & down, darkness on either side with "things" lurking just outside the lit path. It sort of gets the ole' adrenaline going. One good thing about running in the dark is that since you only see what is in the scope of your headlamp, you cannot see any of the hills looming ahead & do not end up anticipating anything.


The run was great & the cooler night brought out intense scents of honeysuckle. It was almost overwhelming at times. None-the-less, the run was great. Seeing as the Mother Road will have plenty of time "in the dark", it was good to get one in. Now if I can only get in a few more.


There is a 60 miler planned for sometime in August which will be an ideal opportunity to really get the feel of running through the night.


Tomorrow I get to go to the other extreme. We have a Coffee Run @ 6 AM. Although it will still be dark, I can have the anticipation of a nice Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks afterwards.


For now, let us press on through the night & onwards to the coffee.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fast Trax Ultra - One More Step


Well, I finally got in my FIRST "international" ultra run. I ran 50 km in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I was "sappy" when I was done. Sad because I had paid for 50 miles of pain when in reality, I cut back to 50 km bu the end of the day. The happy part was that I pulled off a PR for my 50 km distance (yeah!). I guess I will just need to get in a 50 miler this summer (Whew! It will sure be HOT!). It is all onmy way to the Mother Road this November. Oh did I mention that I paid for 100 miles of enjoyment along historic Route 66? I will definitely have to push through whatever boundaries I have. This will be physical as well as mental.


Well the paperwork has been submitted to the IRS in te final step for Know No Boundaries to be a real 501C3 non-profit organization. The board of directors is already formed & we are looking for our first bit of work & will be accepting donations soon.


It is funny how things work out for those who serve the Lord. I run into people who can help, end up having conversations that are inspirational in furthering my passion & end up literally drawing things to us that we need. The Law of Attraction truely does apply - EVERYWHERE!


I will see everyone out on the trail & wil be sure to keep this site current.


God Bless You;

Ken

Sunday, June 1, 2008

On my way to 100


Well it has been a while since I have added anything, but I have finally bit the proverbial bullet. I have put my money where my mouth is. I have signed up & payed for the 2008 Mother Road 100 Mile Road Race. It is a 100 miles on old Route 66 in Western Oklahoma held in November. My previous "boundary" had been 50 miles so I had to break through that.

As part of my training, I will be doing the Fast Trax Ultra 50 mile run in Edmonton, Alberta Canada on June 14th. At least this is a start.

There are probably a few other long runs that I will be doing between now & November to prepare myself for this.

On the real front line, I officially began the process for Know No Boundaries to be a true 501C3 Non Profit Charitable organization. The documentation should be in any time. I have met with the local chapter of Catholic Charities & will be joining up with them to provide some mentoring, counseling & whatever is needed to some of the people who contact them & who seem to have reached some "boundary". It is surprising what one can & will do once there is a reason & an internal drive to push on & to overcome limitations.

Until next time, God Bless You & be sure to Know No Boundaries.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gaining Momentum


Know No Boundaries is gaining momentum in that I am searching for a recipient for me to help break through their boundary. I think as a first "live" attempt at taking my ministry to the world, I am going to try to find a person who has a physical boundary in that they cannot achieve or do something due to a lack of a wheelchair, prosthesis or some other physical device. Maybe they cannot afford it or they do not feel that it will help.

Through much prayer & contemplation, I devided that I am going to work through our local Catholic Charities to find that recipient. I may even try to align Know No Boundaries with Catholic Charities due to the similar nature of the missions of both organizations & the God centered love for those in need.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Catalyst

I had the most amazing experience running my last marathon of 2007; Run for the Ranch; in Springfield, MO. Prior to the run (which started at 2:20 PM), runners were just mulling around waiting for the run to start. We were talking about how it was going to be getting dark before all of us finished. An older gentlemen with a big smile, a southern accent & wearing a white marathon hat, a red, white & blue tank top and matching running shorts. We spoke a bit before the run & kidded each other about who would be behind who. AS the race progressed (& it got dark), I yelled words of encouragement to my southern friend.

After the race, I sat down inside for a hot bowl of chili & some water (like I hadn't had enough of it by now). My southern friend sat down next to me & we began chatting about the race, the temperature (It had dropped to near 40 degrees). He said to me that he ran this race for Jesus. The fact that He suffered & died for us, suffering through a marathon was nothing compared to this & that he offered it up for Christ. I told him that that was a wonderful & self-less thought to offer it up for the Lord. I often think of this very thing during long runs. I actually pray my rosary quite often.

At this point, I shared with him my calling for Know No Boundaries. That I have had the thoughts for many years & after much prayer & contemplation, I realized that God was calling me to do something. To somehow provide ways for people who feel that they have " reached their boundaries", to help them with God's guidance, to break out of these self limiting boundaries. Be it helping them get a wheelchair or a pair of crutches, a prosthetic limb or just listening to them & sharing how God loves them & help them to "break out".

After our brief talk, he asked me to come out to his car before heading home. While we sat there, he told me he was a retired firefighter from Georgia (near Atlanta) & had just completed 13 marathons that year (2007). He then proceeded to had me a crisp $100 bill & said it was for my ministry. I did not know what to say besides "Thank You" & "Are you sure?" Before leaving, I asked for his mailing address & promised to keep him informed on how things progress.

I could not think of anything else the whole way home except that there are angels amongst us.