Running slowly has a meditative effect on me. The sights, the sounds of everything around - I love to take it all in. I always run w/o music for this precise reason. Music is for working, partying, post-workout shower beers and dancing. When I run slow, which is more often than not now (thanks coach!), my mind is cleared of clutter. I'm focused on not only my surroundings, but the ease of my stride, the stress free feeling in the muscles of my face, my arms swinging like pendulums by my side with virtually no friction. I try to float. And @ the same time my mind is free to wander, ponder and dream. Embracing the slow days allows me to imagine the days I get to run fast, entering a completely new mental zone.