Thanks. It helps to get started early. Started running competitively at 13 and the sub-17 streak technically started just before my 19th birthday.
I don't want to sound like a commercial or anything but I do think I'm gaining a great appreciation of the role and responsibilities of a coach, especially now that I've seen the relationship from both sides. Anyone can pick up a training philosophy and write plans with a little experience and a little study. A big part of that coaching role, which I can really look back to my past and see being done expertly by my past coaches, is ensuring the runner keeps a level head and doesn't stray from the plan, beyond necessary modifications, when something great or something bad happens. It's hard to do that with your own running I think because you're so attached and emotionally invested but, even though a good coach is attached and emotionally invested, a good coach is also able to step back and look at things objectively.
Even if the course is not as favorable, that 16:27 does give you a nice cushion. I do think aggressive racing is the key to a fast 5K. You just don't have time to sit back. Give up too much time early and there just isn't time to make it up.