Running the Riga marathon, was hotter then I would have liked. Vowing not to run again afterwards and took 4 months off running. Then back to park runs and entered the Richmond Park Marathon for 2015 ( forgot the pain in 2014 at 20 plus miles already)
I went to do a 10K run recently as part of half marathon training and wanting to push myself from a mere plodder. Was a club organised event and quite competitive. I also noticed this was not so much enjoyment of running as tend to talk to people before and afterwards but found this a lot of less friendly compared to charity events I have carried out in the past. I enjoyed it and my time and smiled around the course and said hello to marshals. Have been considering joining a running club but this put me off.
Good running my best 10K similar and I have run a half marathon in around 1.44. I would say go for longer slower runs as well as one fast run a week. I tend to use park run as a fast 5k ( about 22.30 is my current best). Sundays I will go for 10 to 16 mile runs. Maybe you also want to get a couple more half marathons in but then look for a marathon to give you extra training motivation.
I think it depends on the distance you are prepared to run. For 10Ks I look with an hour of home. For half marathons the furthest so far I have been was Swindon ( i live in London). I did go to Riga ( Latvia) in May for a marathon as wanted a weekend break. Went Friday to Monday but stayed within the old city. No much walking though probably around 10K on the Friday to get my marathon info pack and t-shirt.
I have had an ear infection so left music behind. I tended to run listening to music on the boring bits on my run ( urban areas of London) but have not listened to music in parks and in the nice bits. Also when running events I do not listen to music. At my park run marshals are there to tell runners to stick to the left especially at the start when it is congested. The people with music often cannot hear marshals. At other events it is nice to sometimes see and acknowledge people watching though when running the Riga marathon I ran through a mind numbingly boring area at 16 miles and could have done with some motivational music.