Congratulations kelredhead on your achievements so far! The advances your making now are the most rewarding, so really try to enjoy them!
Great advice from everybody here. I hope your cold is starting to abate a bit.
I only started running 5 years ago, but here are a few things I learnt:
1. You mentioned you are tall and your pace feels really slow. One thing to start to thinking about is whether you are running at a steady cadence.
You should be aiming to take 180 steps (or 90 for each foot - it's sometimes described this way) each minute. Some GPS watches help track this, but you can easily start counting yourself with a timer on your phone or watch.
It has the side benefit of giving you something else to think about! Aim for fast, light feet at this cadence, no matter what your speed. You may feel a bit silly at first - like you have to be very deliberate in taking steps (especially at a slower pace), but the improvement in form and speed will be worth the effort and it will come to feel very natural quickly.
2. What are you thinking about while you're running? There are loads of mind management techniques available. Some people count to 100 over and over, others regulate their breathing in a specific way. I like to play the "Tree Game": I tell myself when I get to the next tree (or whatever convenient marker I can spot up ahead), that I can walk if I want to. You'd be surprised at the grit and determination it can produce when you give yourself permission to stop! You'll find mind management of this kind helps in everything you do in your life.
3. No matter what distance I'm planning to run, I'm exhausted at the end of it (even if it's 5km, I have the horrible feeling that I've just warmed up and exhausted at the same time!). It's really only very few runs where I get to the end and think "I could run for miles and miles and miles". Those are the "Golden Runs" that keep making it worthwhile. If one happens to you, treasure the memories!
Great thanks everyone think I'll still run in miles as I'm used to that but will have some key kilometres written on my hand just to check!!
Katherine - I'm a pretty inexperienced marathon runner but my experience has been that after about 3 km, I'm utterly useless at calculating the km splits, even with a few key figures written down. Can I recommend you just make up a pace band yourself (plenty of templates around), print it out, cover it with sticky tape and stick it on your arm on the day?
20 miles starting before 5am - blimey Whackers (yes, it'll be fab to see you at PP again) and acp. You are dedicated!