I've been running for almost 5 months now. I'm no longer doing walk/run intervals like I did at the beginning (thank you Couch to 5K for getting me started), but I'm still no speed demon. I'm okay with that, really, I am -- I know it will come eventually -- but it's hard not to push myself during this time of mileage buildup. My main focus right now should be just logging miles.
I found (well, a friend of mine on dailymile.com found) a great mileage-building schedule that I've adapted slightly for my preference in rest days. I'm not worried about what pace I'm running for this training; the purpose is to build up my endurance so that I can run a 10K at the end of January and not feel like dying at the end. I've never run more than 5 miles, so I'd like to get to running 6.2 with ease and get my automatic PR for a first race at that distance. Eventually I'll move on to the half-marathon training, since my friend Rae and I have officially signed up for the Denver Rock n Roll Half Marathon next September.
However, with all that said, it's hard not to want to get faster. It's also hard not to go out too fast on my longer runs and wipe myself out before I'm done. I've done a lot of reading about how to train, what pace to run at, that sort of thing, and I really need to be taking things slow and steady. I've been working on trying to slow down my first mile and being a bit more consistent with my splits. For example, I went on a 4 mile run today. My first mile was only a second slower than my fourth, which I pushed a bit at the end, and the first mile was quite a bit faster than my second and third miles. I tried to run based on "feel"... I "felt" like I was running much slower than I actually was in that first mile.
Using my Garmin has turned into more of a check/verification than anything else. I want to get the point where I don't have to look at the Garmin to confirm how fast I'm going. Eventually I want to be able to feel the effort, know my pace, and be able to adjust accordingly without relying on the watch. I guess that's another thing that will come with more miles and building up my stamina once the miles are banked.