1. Caring - Before anything else, you must decide if you care about getting a good time. If you do not care, nothing else will work. Decide why you care about getting a good time and make sure you are fully committed to it, without any doubts.
2. Ghosting - Find another runner who is running at the pace that you want to run. You can do this before the race, or find someone just after the race starts. Shadow this person. Stay 20 feet behind them. Never let them get any further ahead of you.
3. Runing Through Pain - During any run you will experience some pain. In your case, this is likely to be either cramping or pain in your shins and knees. You must run through the pain. Your brain will make the pain seem worse than it is. Ignore the pain and keep running. It will go away.
4. Rest at the End - As soon as the race is over, you can rest. Your pain will go away and your breath will come back. This will come soon if you stick to your other principles.
5. Song Cadence - Use a song to keep your running cadence. Pick a song before the race. You don't need to know the words or use headphones. Play the song in your head as you run. Adjust the tempo, as needed, to keep up with your ghosting partner.
6. Don't Stop - You may feel compelled at some point to slow to a walk, or stop completely. Do not stop running. If you run all the way, you will have a great chance to achieve your goal.
Dad was very happy to hear of the results of Pete's mile run on Monday 5/12/14. Pete used all of the above strategies and finished in 7:53.