Part of me wanted to just stop but I was already 2 miles out, and even if I DID stop I still had to go 2 more miles to get back home! So I gathered my thoughts, focused on my breathing, and plodded ahead. As I settled into the relative silence I began to notice the beautiful nature all around me. I heard the birds singing, the wind blowing through the trees, water dripping into a puddle. Every little sound seemed amplified. This new and natural soundtrack had an unexpected effect on me, it made me run faster! All along I thought it was my music that made me run fast ( and I still think that's true for certain songs) But overall, being able to connect with my surroundings and listen to my breathing and my footsteps and the way I was running, it made the run go by faster and feel less labored.
When a fast song comes on with a heavy beat it makes me work harder, and I feel more tired. Without the music dictating the ebb and flow of my pace, my speed was actually more consistent and came more easily. I finished the 5 miles in 45:03, almost exactly a 9 minute pace (9:00:06 to be exact.) And I felt great!
Still, I didn't trust myself without music. So I plugged my iPod into our new computer to charge it up. Since it's a new computer it asked me something about erasing and syncing my music, I absentmindedly clicked "yes" and my entire song collection vanished. When I tried to put music back on, it wouldn't let me! So, Wednesday and Thursday's runs were also sans music. Amazingly though, it was fine! Wednesday I logged 3 miles in 26:25 min, 8:48 min/mile pace, and yesterday I did 5 miles in 44:35 min, 8:55 min/mile pace.
So this week I've had a positive experience running without music, but I'm still a little torn as to whether I should race with my iPod next week or not. I'm trying to fix it and I will probably at least bring it as a back up in case I need some extra "juice" to kick it into the finish. I don't know though, I ran my first half marathon without music (accidentally left the iPod at home) and had a great experience and a great finishing time. So yeah, it's a dilemma, not sure how it will all work out.