While uploading today's run via Garmin Connect, I decided to perform a little “scientific" study. I thought it would be interesting to match the iPod playlist against the run pace chart. Realizing that elevation and distance would have a certain amount of impact on the pace, I wanted to see which song actually generated the fastest extended speed (30 seconds or greater). I had the marathon playlist on shuffle and ran a long, slow 11 miles. The result ...... Let It Rain, by Michael W Smith.
In short, I seemed to have inadvertently picked up the pace some 18 seconds / mile vs. the average during this song. It also proved to be about 5 seconds faster than the next closest. This was unintentional and not exactly how I would want a pace run to deviate, but interesting nonetheless.
That got me thinking. Why would the very simple Let it Rain generate the additional acceleration? There were many more high tempo songs on the list, (contemporary christian, gospel, rock, country and even college fight songs), that should have resulted in the similar momentary pick up. But only this song had that affect. Maybe it was a coincidence? Maybe it was the strong desire to experience these lyrics spiritually? Maybe prayer and meditation just get your feet moving a little quicker? Maybe the grass could use a little water? Of course, maybe it's just a great song with an even greater message, and I just couldn't hold myself back! Regardless of the reason, I say "let it rain!"
(On a somewhat related note, I just realized that I've been using Phil Collins' I Wish It Would Rain Down regularly this summer for the final miles of long runs. Hmmm......)