Thanks for writing to us with your questions. I would recommend running through all 14 ME workouts the first time through the plan even if it means doing fewer high intensity interval workouts late in the plan that time. The me will provide a great base for the high intensity and improve the fatigue resistance of your legs. The second time through you can shorten the ME block but whether you do that by cutting off the front or back end I can’t tell you. It sounds like you’re handling them well right now but gage this on how you handle the whole progression.
Improved uphill endurance probably should have read: “improved uphill performance”. Everyone I have every used this plan with noticed improved running performance even when carrying some fatigue during the ME block. The bigger gains will come when you shift over to the intervals in the final phase of the plan.