With no race to train for, I stopped caring about how fast I was.
And then I got faster.
Here's how I inadvertantly became a nonchalant speed(ier) demon.
1. Stop trying to run fast. Just run to enjoy the outdoors, your music, the lightness of your feet on the pavement.
2. If you see someone out on the path running faster than you, don't speed up. It's OK. People will be faster than you.
3. You can use a Garmin, but don't look at it while you're running. Just glance at it at the end to track mileage and shrug off your pace. Who cares if you ran a 5 minute mile for three seconds while dashing through a yellow light?
4. Run more often than you had been before, but stick with shorter runs that won't wear your body out, with the long run being in the 6-8 mile range, and the everyday run in the 3-4 mile range.
5. One day, look over your Garmin history over the past month, and watch your average pace drop off several seconds a week. It'll be the fastest "minute" you ever lost. Without even trying.
6. Do a very modest happy dance, trying not to be too self-congratulatory, as it was a very zen, "speed, schmeed" that made your quicken up in the first place.