It took Saturday's race to make me realize this, but my form on hills has gotten sloppy. I guess I have been taking it for granted that I get to run on hills on most of my runs. There is just no way to avoid them. So in the past couple of months, I've just been running them without focusing too much on my form and getting better at them. Tonight was my first effort in a while to get out of my comfort zone with hills. I talked out loud to myself several times when I was going up the hills: knees up, head up, shoulder back, move the arms, shorten the stride. I learned all these things a few years ago in training groups, but somehow I stopped doing this. I couldn't believe tonight how much I caught myself looking down and dragging my feet. Completely sloppy hill running, which I think has translated into sloppy running all around.
Tonight's 6.2-mile run was tough both physically and mentally two days after my long run, but it's what I needed to get things rolling for the whole week. I couldn't have asked for anything better.