FINALLY! I went to the gym today, not even intending to do a personal best time today, just to do a good run, and things just fell into place. About halfway through I saw that my target was within reach, and I stuck in there and pushed myself just a little bit harder, and I did it, with seconds (8 seconds, to be exact) to spare. I am really really happy with this; I’m running at a pace that a year ago I did not seriously think I would ever attain. I’m very proud of myself.
A tip for anyone reading this: hill training. I think that the reason I was able to achieve this goal so quickly and re-setting my mind to it was that I was doing two hill runs a week – they are hard, but they’ve worked better than just about anything for me in terms of increasing speed.