I left my iPod at home today. I was halfway down the block with Buddy when I realized I didn't have it - I knew I'd been travelling light this morning but not that light - if I hadn't had him I would have turned around and gotten it. So today was my first track workout ever without my tunes.
I was a little nervous about it since track workouts always require some extra oomph and music is the easiest way to get that. But I figured this would be good practice for the race on Sunday (Share Your Soles 10K) and just good practice in general. Also, it was a fairly easy workout as far as track workouts go, 6x400m.
And you know what? I think it worked out for the best! Right from the start I focused closely on my breathing, my form, and how my legs felt. I was trying for as consistent a feel as I could get, checking my time halfway through each repeat to confirm my pace and then adjust as need be. I used my breathing to slow me down when I suspected I might be going too fast, and then changed my breathing pattern at the very end when I wanted that last extra oomph and didn't know where I was going to get it from. And my repeats were the most consistent they've ever been, all at 2:13 with maybe a second's variance in either direction once I got through the first one.
Of course, it's one thing to focus this intensely when I'm only doing 400m at a time. After next week, when I start my marathon training in earnest, my track workouts are all mile repeats and that's a long time to focus so closely, especially given how slow I run. I will really want my music then. But I might try turning off the iPod for some of those repeats... you know, just to see how it feels.