I didn't have any RHR numbers but just recorded a couple. I should have been doing this for a while. Anecdotally, I feel like I often saw mid to upper 70s. I'd check it but not record it. I saw your question at work and counted 60 bpm (measuring over 30 seconds and doubling). Just now, after dinner but again idle, I counted 68.
In my iPhone I apparently measured it 11/8/2014 in the morning at 69 bpm and 11/9/2014 late morning at 81 bpm. I do think I've been improving lately, both based on numbers and how I feel.
I went by feel for my Saturday run. I didn't check my heart rate more than a few times, such as deciding if I should make a longer detour and at the top of a notable hill. I even ignored the mile times. Opposite to you, that may have ended with me going slower, but speed wasn't so much my goal as distance, and I do think ignoring helped me go further. Instead of getting wrapped up in running numbers through my head like how far I had to go or how long it would take, I just thought about how I felt.
Websites I've read suggest doing intervals on hills can improve your cardiovascular strength (to a point), and I started those last week with sets two days. I think it's already helped, but I still took today off. My knees feel just a little off from the weekend, and I'm being careful about not overdoing it. I should be fine tomorrow.