This morning on my ride into work, I kept on thinking how loud the brakes were on the car next to me, but then later on when I stopped at a light, and there were no cars next to me, I realized that it was actually me. Thinking back, I had been noticing that my braking performance on my rear brakes had been deteriorating. So today at lunch I rode my bike over to my local bike shop here at work, and replaced the brake pads. They were pretty worn, where little metal fragments were showing in the pads.
Riding back to the office, with the new brake pads, made me realize how much of a difference new pads will make, feel like I can actually stop on a dime (or maybe a quarter....).