Congrats on taking this marathon animal on first of all, and at 43, whew! I like your willingness to work though. I know I’m 41 and busier now than ever. Everything is getting harder. The 8-10 year improvement window means nothing as far as I’m concerned. The key for your improvement is on a couple fronts I believe. One, your easy runs and long run paces look way too fast for your 8:00 min mile goal. So here’s my point, if your handling those runs ok, stay at your mileage and increase the pace of tempo runs in accordance with let’s say a 3:20 marathon, 7:40 pace. OK there’s your pace run for MP’s. Now shoot for LT runs at 7:00 to 7:10 pace. These are runs of 3-5 miles at this pace. And I think this is conservative, and you’d still need to run your long runs slower at first with this goal in mind. Want mile repeats, try 6:40 -6:50 pace. Get ready to rock. Or as DD would say, cut the p-funk and drop the bomb.
I have seen alot of runners take this up and bust 3 hours in a year, so keep that in mind. One thing was always apparent, results mirrored training, the days when you don’t think it’s there, but somehow it gets done.
For motivation, last fall I came back from fat city and near oblivion. I did’t even log anything but know this, I ran long runs in about 8:15-8:30 pace except for a 19.5 miler a day after an 8k race (31:08?) which I ratcheted down to 7:30-7:40’s. 2 or three weeks later I busted 3 on that, coming off a 6:54 paced 20k only 4 or 5 weeks earlier. Timing is everthing, patience is just as important.
Hope this makes sense and helps you out. Too many people, myself included don’t trust the slow running in relation to how you want to race.
NYC or bust, PSKI