wigglestix - you're on the right track. Go to cowpatty's website and read about the genpmk utility, which you can use to create precompiled hash files specific to your AP ESSID.
genpmk requires a password file as imput so pick your favorite password list and use that. You can get a really large password list at the Renderlab's Church of Wifi website (look for 9-final-wordlist.zip). If you open this in windows or add to in Windows, be sure to run the fromdos utility on it (included in BT4) before running genpmk. You can also use John the Ripper output as the password list for genpmk. It takes a little while to create the hash file, but it's worth the time because it really speeds up cracking. Please also note that the AP passphrase must be contained in your password list file.