I am going to preface this by saying that I am very self-competitive and very Type-A.
I had run the Turkey Trot in November and hadn't run a ton so when the first of the year rolled around I decided to start January with a "mile a day" challenge. I wanted to walk or run one mile every day. I missed maybe 3-4 days tops. Since it was the middle of winter all of those miles took place on the treadmill. I would try to get the mile done as quickly as possible a lot of days and rarely did I push for even 2 or 3 miles instead of the 1 I was 'supposed' to do. I ended up doing a lot of interval things as well as seeing how fast I could run a mile.
I think that is what gave me so much more speed than I was used to when I started training in February. (What does that even mean?! But I can't think of a better way to put it).
I did a lot of speed work in the first 4 weeks of training in prep for my "sub-25 5k" goal. But if we are being honest here... I didn't want to sub-25, I wanted to sub-24. Which I did.
I had been only running on the treadmill and had sub-25'ed on it but not quite near sub-24.
Some people will say that you run faster on the treadmill than you do outside and some people say the exact opposite. I think it has a lot to do with the mental aspects; but for me, I run faster outside. Especially when I have been running on the treadmill for a few runs in a row and then I run outside... I can't slow down my legs, I just want to GO.
And now that the focus is on my "sub-2 hour half marathon" goal. I keep thinking "should I push for something more"? Partly because for my long runs I keep running wayyy too fast. I know this is going to be one of those amateur mistakes where I think its no big deal and then something will happen and I will realize how much I should have just been slowing down. I keep trying and then I get a couple miles in at such a fast pace and I don't want to completely crash my pace.
At this point I don't think that I should make a 'hard and fast' new goal. No "sub-1:45" (yeah right!). Maybe in the future, but at my current training and fitness that just isn't reasonable for this race. One day..
So for now, sub-2 hour here I come! Anything more (or would it be less, as in less time?) is just a bonus!
What goals are you working towards?