Simple equation to get faster.... Train for a distance far more than you're mentally prepared, decide to quit just past the mid-way point, proceed to run shorter distances than your used to... It's worked for me every time I've done it (this once).
I ran 6 miles today in 53:30. That's about 8:55 pace. I'd have to say that is the fastest I've run that distance in a long time... Wanna know something else? The second half I thought we slowed down and I was Chatty Cathy the entire run (ran w/ Justin and Lisa). But... we actually sped up. We ran the first half in just over 9:00 mile pace. We ran the second half in 8:45 pace. I was shocked when I looked at the times in our post-run cool down.
So folks... The moral of the story? I'll take this one from the Simpsons.. ""well, son...you tried your best and you failed miserably...lesson is: never try." Apparently quitting makes you fast. Who knew?