You said they were coming in real fast, this tells me you went out on a real nice mature swell.
They act a little different. Some swells are produced by local activity, and some are from a 1000 miles away (the good ones).
Chances are if you caught a swell that is moving fast enough for you to mention how fast the waves were, then it was a mature swell.
Just the fact that you have only been surfing for a month and a half and you were able to paddle out in it, is pretty impressive.
Here is the deal, I remember very vividly my first time paddling out into a mature swell, the waves were 6-8 and Fast, and I didn't know that they came that fast, I had been out on bigger days, but not with waves coming in that fast with that much power.
You need to be ready ahead of time, Paddle early, pick up board speed, that way the wave will pick you up easily. You will find that you are sliding down the face of the wave, and you don't even know it. Sliding down the face isn't really a talent, it just kind of happens, but when you find yourself sliding down the face, remember, the nose is usually pointing down naturally, don't help it. If anything worry more about stabalizing the board by keeping your weight more towards the tail, not on the tail, but just more toward it than toward the nose. I see a lot of guys stomping on more toward the front and then they get buried in water. Wait until you have control over the board to press forward on it.
Remember the stronger paddler you become the less time you need to catch the wave, but starting out, I would paddle early.