In the Jefff Galloway run/walk training method, he recommends you run a "magic mile" periodically to check your speed. He has a prediction model where you put in your magic mile and he will predict your average pace for different races. The magic mile is a good hard run. If you have to walk a bit, that is ok, but give it a good effort, just not so much that you throw up. I did that tonight and was pleased with my magic mile time.
My total was 3.76 miles at an average pace of 11:04. One of my goals for the year was to run a 10 minute mile pace for either 3 or 5 miles, don't remember exactly. I did it on the treadmill earlier this year for a couple of miles but it is harder on the road/trail. I don't think I'll make a complete 5k at a 10 minute mile average but maybe that can be a goal for 2015. I know a ten minute mile isn't even remotely fast, but for a 55 year old beginner (less than two years), I'll take it. One of my friends commented that pace isn't important, just that you are out there and covering distance. Good advice.
I suppose my competitive spirit, won't let me quite get over pace....even though I have to do self talk all the time about my age and my slow pace.