when.grey.skies.turn.blue

First of all, thanks to all who’ve downloaded, listened, and commented on brentnet radio episode 1. If you haven’t done so, check it out. Nearly 100 people have downloaded it which completely surprised me. As I said with brentnet tv episode 2, I don’t have 100 friends, so it’s interesting to wonder who is listening to this. It’s awesome, nonetheless, though.

More than a few of you may be wondering what the heck I’m up to. What’s the deal with all the slacking on updates? First of all, I’ve got to apologize. We only get like 2… maybe 3 months worth of nice weather all year, so I’ve gotta enjoy it when I can. Plus, I’ve been running like a madman. As I probably already made obvious, I was completely bummed with my performance at Grandma’s Marathon and I really would like to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It would give me a great excuse to go on “vacation” for a couple days in the spring plus it would give me an excuse to see Fenway bleeping Park which has always been a lifelong dream. I think every baseball fan should at some point in his or her life see Wrigley, Yankee Stadium, Fenway and of course the Humphrey-dome. I only include the Triple-H because it will make you appreciate the other stadiums even more. In my life, I’ve been to the Metrodome (numerous times), Wrigley Field (Cubs), Miller Park (Brewers), Busch Stadium (Cards), and Camden Yards (Orioles). If I qualify for Boston, I’m definitely thinking of flying into New York, hitting a game, heading up to Boston and flying back home. It would be spectacular if I could make something like that work out, but I guess we’ll have to see.

I’ll get back to the running in a bit, but I first want to talk about my upcoming trip to Chicago since it’s a perfect segway from the baseball talk. As was the case the last time I went to Chicago, I am going to be attending a pair of baseball games. Sunday afternoon, myself along with Sara, her brother Ross, and his girlfriend Amanda are all going to be attending the White Sox versus the Red Sox. I’m much more excited about seeing the Red Sox and booing the White Sox than I am about seeing Comiskey Park which, by the way, I refuse to call anything else. I read a review that was espn.com’s Page 2 a few years ago. Apparently, the upper deck is ridiculously steep – I read not one but two difference referrences to fans suffering from vertigo sitting in the upper deck. Also, I’m told that I have a very good view of the slums around the stadium! The good news is that Sunday is White Sox cap day, so the first 10,000 fans receive White Sox fans. I’m most certainly envisioning a situation where I take a piece of tape and a sharpie and mark my free White Sox hat with the word “sucks.” Have I mentioned that I hate the White Sox? Anyway, we should see a pretty decent game as the Red Sox are my second favorite team after the Twins. The pitching matchup, although not ideal, should be pretty decent. We’re going to see Bronson Arroyo for the Sox and Jose Contreras for the White Sox. Monday night, we’re going to be hitting the friendly confines of Wrigley Field to check out the Cubs versus the Bonds-less Giants. When we first planned the trip, I was hoping Bonds would be back so I could, of course, boo loudly everytime he stepped to the plate. Unfortunately, there will be no free hats at Monday’s game, but it is “80’s night”… whatever that means. I guess I’m just hoping we get to see some 80’s Giants jerseys match up against some 80’s Cubbies jerseys. The pitching matchup we’re going to see should be great – Kerry Wood is going for the Cubs and Jason Schmidt is going for the Giants. Neither are having their best season, but both have the potential to pitch an unbelievable game. At the very worse, anytime Kerry Wood is on the mound, you have the possibility to see a spectacular meltdown. The last Cubs game I was at, he went berzerk and wound up getting tossed. Luckily, I got to see Antonio Alfonseca and his infamous “six finger fastball.”

We’ve got much more planned for our Chicago trip than just checking out a few baseball games. Monday before the game, I believe we are going to be attending a waterpark. We may check out a waterpark I went to about four years ago when I was in Chicago or we may check out a new park. At some point, we’re definitely going to check out Navy Pier as well as the Magnificent Mile.

Before I head out, back to the running for a sec. Yesterday, I had a nice 16 mile longer run. The temperature wasn’t so bad, so it worked out very well. Tonight, I have an easy six-miler. The next few days will really be a test, though. I should mention that even though I’m doing the Pfitzinger 12-week/70+ mile schedule, I’ve had to reschedule and move around many runs over the course of a week to work around what I have going on. For example, tonight I want to go to dinner before hitting a 7:15 movie, so I had to switch so I have a recovery day today and do today’s scheduled run tomorrow instead. The unfortunate part about doing that is I have a string of tough days in a row occassionally. I am feeling sore and a bit tired in the legs after my 16 yesterday, so it’s probably better that I’m doing a recovery run as opposed to a threshold run as scheduled. Here’s my schedule for the rest of the week, though (just so some of you can understand how much it sometimes stinks to be a long distance runner!)

Tuesday – Recovery – 6 miles
Wednesday – Threshold – 10 miles w/ 4 miles at 7:00/mile pace
Thursday – Medium long run – 12 miles
Friday – Medium long run – 11 miles (which I’ll have to do before work!)
Saturday – Recovery 6 miles (AM) and 4 miles (PM)
Sunday – Long run – 18 miles along Lake Michigan (!!!)

So assuming everything goes well and I don’t miss any runs (always a possibility), I’m going to run 83 miles this week which would be a new weekly record for me. Of course, it helps that I did last week’s long run Monday instead of last Sunday. Pretty much my entire next two months look like that. The good news is that I should have the time to get a lot of this running done since basketball is wrapping up and I really have no other commitments (other than a ton of busy weekends!) So the big question is do I think I can qualify for Boston? Honestly, I have no idea. I know that if I can stay healthy, there is just no way I’m going to run a 4:08 again. Between now and then, I have a 5k (August 21st), 10k (July 30th), two half-marathons (August 21st and September 10th), and possibly one more race. I should be able to pretty accurately guess what kind of shape I’m in after the last half-marathon. I’m guessing I’ll run better than the 1:32 I ran last May, but I can’t say for sure. What I can say, though, is that I’m prepared to put in the training. Whether I run the race of my life or another disappoiting race in October, I want to be prepared to say that I put myself into a position to run my best race.

By the way – before someone makes the comment, I know I look stupid in today’s picture. I’m supposed to be doing a Zoolander-esque pose.

If you’re out on your bike tonight, do wear white,
-B-