highway.to.the.danger.zone

…and to think I'd been thinking that my running has been going terrible lately.

Here's a little running story for y'all. If my running stories bore
you, skip straight to the dot… dot… dot… section. I promise it
won't offend me at all. Anyways, I've been in a struggle with my
running ever since my last marathon but especially during December and
January. It's hard with my schedule, the terrible weather, and the lack
of a good treadmill to run more than a half an hour at a time (maybe?)
on. While this isn't necessarily related to the story, I should mention
that if you are ever planning on becoming to become a marathon runner
and want to train in the winter, get some major dough together and buy
a good treadmill. I can tell you that I'm planning on trying to do just
that this summer/fall. Fighting the crowds and time limits at the
health clubs just isn't worth it. If you living in a sub-sub-tropical
climate like I do (Minnesota), running outside is difficult as well.
Anyways, one of my favorite runs is an 8 mile out and back on a country
road. Last spring (I believe in May), I barely broke one hour for the
first time by running a watch timed 59:59. I was absolutely elated.
With the lack of races in my schedule, I like to compete with my best
practice runs seeing if I can one up my times. All spring, I stayed in
between 59:45 and 61 minutes or so. When I started my marathon training
again after Grandma's, my times started dropping a bit. I think last
summer I ran as low as 58:30 or so. It wasn't until last fall that my
times started really dropping. I ran a 57:45 and about a week later I
ran my best time in the 8-mile practice run of 2004 coming in at 56:45.
It's hard to compare treadmill times with actual running times. On a
treadmill, it's easier to control pacing and you don't have any wind or
any hills, so it's hard to say how fast I really could run 8 miles this
summer. Last weekend, I trudged through ice and snow and ran an easy
1:03 which I wasn't at all disappointed with. On Sunday, the weather
warmed up and a lot of the ice melted. I was feeling good and I ended
up running a 57:51 which was only a minute off of my best time of all
of last year. I can't tell you how encouraged I was. On Tuesday, I went
easy again and still came in in 60:22. So tonight, I went out and was
feeling awfully good. I didn't feel like I was overly pushing, yet when
I got to my first "watch check point" where I always check my watch, I
was right at 10:00. When I ran a 57:51 earlier in the week, I was
exactly at 11:00 and most of last summer I would hit that point between
10:30-11:00, so I had went out incredibly fast. I still felt great,
though. I got to my check point (which on Sunday was 21:22) and I was
at 19:30 – almost two full minutes ahead! When I got to the four mile
turn around, I was at 27:15 which would wind-up being a 54:30 if I
could even split! After dodging a lot of cars (good thing the shoulder
is wide!), I managed to cross the "finish line" into my driveway in
54:44 which breaks down to an average of 6:51 per mile for 8 miles.
Over two minutes ahead of my fastest practice run time ever! Are you
kidding me!?!
I'm so encouraged because earlier in the day I signed up for a
half-marathon this weekend. For the past month or so, I didn't think
I'd be really ready, but know I'm thinking I could throw down a
respectable time. I highly doubt I'll PR, but I do think I can run
sub-1:40. I'll tell you what. Tonight really showed me that if I'm able
to stay healthy, you're going to be reading a blog from a really happy
fellow come late June because I will qualify for Boston. I'm in so-so
shape. Give me five more months of solid training (once again –
crossing the fingers I can stay healthy!) and I'm gonna be a warrior
ready to go into battle. You may think I'm kidding, but I'm dead
serious. I'm so pumped after tonight's run. I feel like Rocky. "Gonna
fly now…" Too bad Perham doesn't have any buildings that resemble the
Spectrum…

Dot… Dot… Dot…

  • How many people in America do you think still remember that Penny
    Hardway's first name is Anfernee? Seriously… I can't remember the
    last time that I ever had a conversation with someone and Penny
    Hardaway came up. I'm surprised he's still in the league to tell you
    the truth. I'd be willing to bet at least 1/3 of the people you'd talk
    to wouldn't remember that his first name is Anfernee. At least as many
    wouldn't be able to spell Anfernee. Random thought – was Lil' Penny or
    was he not the single greatest marketing ploy of all time? I still have
    two Lil' Penny dolls sitting above my computer desk. In my new house, I
    might even put him on the mantle above the fireplace in the new house.
    I don't have anything else to put there yet!
  • Everyday I think of a silly little reason why I'm excited for my new
    house. Reason #4080 – when I take a shower in the morning, I don't have
    to look at a card with a bad drawing of some women taking that cancer
    breast exam. It's always bugged me because it's something you really
    can't ignore just hanging from the shower spout.
  • How often do you hear someone talk about directions. For example, when
    talking about my house, I was trying to explain how it's laid out. The
    guy I was talking to was like "so, is that room in the northwest corner
    of the house?" Northwest corner of the house? What am I – a compass? I
    could be standing twelve feet from the south pole in Antarctica and I'd
    turn to the guy next to me and ask which direction is south. I have
    absolutely no idea what direction anything is… ever.
  • This is something that's always been kinda bothering me. You know the
    song "Stacy's Mom?" If Stacy's mom has got it going on, why not go
    after the daughter? When is the last time you saw a good looking mom
    would had a hideous looking daughter? It just doesn't happen. Why not
    go after the daughter who more than likely isn't going to need massive
    doses of botox to still have it "going on" in about 5 years?
  • When you hear all the bad 80's songs that have been covered by random
    rappers, do you wonder why nobody has covered Danger Zone by Kenny
    Loggins? Tell me that song wouldn't work? If a crap artist like P.
    Diddy can sample I've Been Around the World and make a decent song,
    there is no doubt in my mind that some other crappy commercial rapper
    could make millions. Name one girl that was a pre-teen or teenager in
    the 80s that doesn't love Top Gun?
  • My boy Pierre Pierce got kicked off the Iowa basketball team again! If
    I've never said it before, my claim to fame is that for one game, I
    started at a basketball camp over Pierre Pierce. I was a year older
    than him and the coach started the older kids in the first game.
    Anyways, he was an unbelievable player, even back then. Our team was
    pretty good finishing 2nd or 3rd in the "regular season" of the
    basketball camp. I think we got nicked early in the playoffs, but ah
    well. Anyways, he was a quiet kid. A lot of the better basketball
    players were their own biggest fans, but he was very chill. It
    surprised me the first time he got in trouble and it surprised me when
    I heard about this again. Anyways, he'll be in the NBA soon enough and
    then I can yap on here more and more about how I started over an NBA
    player. It's honestly all I've got…
  • For those of you who cannot tell, my boy Donovan F. McNabb has some
    serious male pattern baldness going on. Don't let the cornrows and
    terrible beard fool you… as good of a QB as he might be, he's going
    to look like a cue ball in less than five seasons. Mark my word.
  • Is this weird? I was thinking about my house again today (surprise
    surprise) and I was wondering what time the mail comes. Right now, it
    really bugs me because our mail used to come before lunch and now it
    comes later, so I often don't get to see it until I get home at night.
    I don't know what the earliest mail comes, but it would be great if I
    got mail at about 9 AM at the new house. I'd settle for anything before
    lunch. At least I won't have to worry about my mom getting the mail and
    harrassing me because I "wasted" more money on dvd's. Part of that is
    because she won't be seeing my mail and part of that will be because I
    won't be able to afford dvd's!

Well, that's all I got yo. If you're disappointed by my lack of polish,
it's not going to get any better. Actually, I take that back. I do
think I'm a better writer now than I was when I started two years ago.
Brentnet is was it is, though. If you're a daily/weekly reader, I can't
say thanks enough. I had 2,500 people read my site (that's not counting
the forums) last month which is a new high month by about 400 people.
If you're new here, leave a comment. I'd love to hear what you have to
say. If you've been around for a while, you can still feel free to
leave a comment. If you haven't already checked out the forums,
do yourself and myself and whoever-elses (not a word, I know) self a
favor and sign up and start posting today. It's one epsiode of Buffy,
then to bed only to wake up early to go for a run.

If you're out on your bike tonight, do wear white,

-B-