I found a good reason not to wear my iPod while I'm running:
It slows me down!
The weather was nice today (for February in Washington), low 50s and between rain storms so I went for a run today at lunch. I did my standard 6 mile work loop. As I got dressed I thought about what I'd listen to on the run and nothing sounded good so I left the iPod and braved a run without it.
Years ago, before iPods I never ran with music and now I never run without it. Lately I've been listening to Stuart on the Quadrathon podcast a lot but today my lungs gasping for air sounded better.
I ran the loop clockwise which has a net descent over the first two miles before paying for that with a couple of miles of uneven climbing. It finishes off with ups and downs and a slight uphill finish. My legs still felt a tad sore from Sunday's 14 mile run and I didn't think I had much in my legs. I kept looking at my watch thinking that it was getting bad GPS data when I was seeing my pace in the 5:40 - 6:20 min/mi. range. I went through the first mile in 6:13 and though I wasn't trying to kill my legs I held it to go through 2mi. in 12:03. At this point I hit the base of the big climb.
The climb slowed me down as I passed a friendly female runner and watched my HR hit 165 and stay there for the next mile and a half before the path leveled out and I got back to running sub-7 min. miles.
I tried to keep my leg turnover high and my HR at or above 160. My pace wasn't very steady as I came up the back stretch and turned down the corridor trail. Luckily it wasn't very muddy on the trail so I could keep my pace up and catch my breath without worrying about my footing too much.
By this point in the run I knew that I had a chance to break my PR for the route so I was looking at my watch frequently and worrying about keeping my pace up. I made the right turn onto 148th for the last 2/3 of a mile and gave it everything I had left to hit the 6mi. point in 40:42.
Avg pace: 6:47/mi
That's a minute under my previous best. I'd say I gave it about a 9.5 - 10 on an effort scale and my lungs were burning most of the run. I'll call this my tempo run and hope to get some speedwork in later this week. So far I like the Run Less Run Faster book. I can manage three quality runs a week.
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Update: My splits from the run today: