Put in 6 pretty easy miles Saturday night. As usual, my first mile was quicker than I expected even though it had a decent amount of uphill. It's getting better with more warmup effort, so I think I'm getting the hang of pacing somewhat. I banked about 40 seconds going downhill in mile 3 and burned it all up coming back uphill in mile 4, which is fine. I'm trying to take Jim2's advice on running hills to heart, and keeping my center of gravity over my feet really is allowing me to go downhill quickly without pounding my knees and hips...at least it feels better than trying to lean back. The last couple miles were slightly but persistently uphill and I had to work to hold my target 12 minute pace for the whole run. I know I should just run a comfortable pace the whole time, but for now I'm still trying to get used to setting a pace and sticking to it, and these aren't really hard efforts or terribly long, so I seem to be getting away with it.
This morning found me repeating my 3-mile course from last week but this time with a more-sustainable 10:30 pace. Tomorrow's soreness (or lack of it) will tell me if that's going to work for my increasingly long midweek tempo runs this winter. If all goes well, the numbers say my 5-hour marathon target is within reach. I'm even tempted to say I should target 4:45 or lower, but for now I think I'll stick with my current goal and, if I feel good on raceday, go for a negative split instead of repeating the classic rookie mistake of starting too fast and bonking.