- People who wear them in heavily trafficked areas are just plain annoying, and this includes many races. They get in the way and don't hear people who are trying to pass them.
- Some people prefer to be more in tune with their surrounding and their own internal experiences and feel that music obsures this.
- Some people like the music a lot, particularly in training, but don't listen to music during races.
- Most of the people who commented felt that they were faster without it.
- There seems to be a relationship between relative running ability and listening to music, although cause-effect isn't clear. As I've told my students, if A and B are related, then either A causes B, or B causes A to happen, or something else altogether causes A and B to happen at the same time.
- It seems that one of the differences between people who prefer to run with and those who run without is that those who prefer to run without are more competitive, even if only against themselves.
I also think from time to time about my marathon at Ironman Louisville. My previous marathon was 6 hours. My bike split was painful and slow and my feet and legs were sore and I was so tired. By the time I hit the run, I'd been racing for more than 10 hours. Yet, my Ironman marathon, without headphones, was 6:20, and I felt strong.
Perhaps the headphones have been holding me back?
Finishing a little faster would be nice because I'd like to be able to finish some races comfortably, instead of when it's really hot out and the pizza is all gone. Not that I don't enjoy the occasional drama of the last minute finish, but it's hard on me emotionally, ya know?
It bears investigating, I think. I still like my runs along the bosque dirt trail with my music from time to time, but perhaps now I start focusing on the various signals my body gives me. Maybe that will be the next stage in my "evolution" as a runner!