Not improving or even keeping up!
Maybe although you are not running when the day is at its hottest, the hot weather has done for you, and the step up in distance. I've just gone up to 7k from 5, almost the same timing as you I did 7k for the first time late on Thursday night and nearly dissolved in a puddle of sweat, did it again this afternoon and feel OK but who knows... I almost always feel I can't possibly run after about a hundred yards, but I think of something else and plod on! Maybe you are "going down with something". Maybe you should give it a few days rest?
I would go with the heat. After 4 is still the heat of the day, most days the temp has peaked at 4pm...I would suggest running first thing in the morning before the heat if you can or wait until after 8 pm. I have done a couple runs, one at 6pm one at 7.30 and another gone 8pm. None were as good as my 6am start runs. The type chest difficult to catch your breath, not unusual unless you are used to running in this heat.
So you are not going backwards at all, just getting use to the heat. just remember how far you have come and go and sign up for the 10k. You can do and will get there, this heat won't last forever.
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