A short run tonight but not an easy one.

My day started early as I had a 7am conference call in the office and I needed to be spot on time. By ‘spot on time’ I really mean ‘thirty minutes early just in case something goes wrong’ so a start at 6:30am meant leaving the house at 6am, and a long morning ahead. I took a 45 minute break around 12:30pm but was already tired, though I still had some big meetings to go in the afternoon too. All said and done, when it rolled around to 5:15pm I was toast. Time to get out, and get home, and get the running shoes on.

I didn’t feel up to running a long way – I’ll leave that for the weekend – but I did think I could get some climbing in. I didn’t want to go a long way to find a staircase or a hill, and so I headed the one kilometer to the bottom of the Fourviere hill, and started up the stairs to the top of the hill. From the bottom to the top of the climb (after negating a hundred stairs or so from Saint Paul to the start of the ‘real’ climb) is 563 stairs…and I felt them all.

I wasn’t pushing super hard and focused instead of keeping things consistent in terms of heart rate, cadence, and effort. With the fastest ascent at 4:01 and the slowest at 4:08, I think I managed this just fine. Descending was a little more hazardous in the early evening dark as the lighting is not ideal on the staircase, but I kept the rhythm and trusted the muscle memory to keep me hitting every second step on the way down. Again, the results were some pretty consistent downhill times, too: 1:51 the fastest and 2:02 the slowest, save for the last time when I stopped for 25 seconds to snap the perfect photo of the dark tunnel I was down into about twice as fast as I was running up.

Heading home after five ascents and descents, I turned up the hill to go half way along the face of Fourviere before dropping into the Old City, crossing the bridge in front of the courthouse, and clicking stop on the Garmin just a few meters after the 5K distance had rolled over. A good workout, and one I’ll repeat a few times during the year as it’s always a good way to grab some vert close to home.

Distance: 5km
Elevation: 440m
Time: 47:27
Pace: 9:22/km