Saturday kind of got away from me in terms of fitting in everything I needed to do, and running didn’t even get a look in with all of the family time, activities, shopping, and cooking to get done. Add to that a reasonable effort on my part to do a thorough post-New Year clear out of clothes and books in the house and I didn’t have a chance to get out the door and into the street or onto the trail to get a run in.
This morning, though, was a different story.
I set the alarm for 6am, woke before and – after psyching myself up to face the rain that had been falling steadily since I first opened my eyes – I pulled on the wet weather gear and headed out the door.
Wet weather gear, mind you, is nothing too special for this sort of run. I had a jacket to keep the rain out, and a waterproof peaked cap which did a great job at keeping things visible (I didn’t bother with the headlamp this morning). I wore gloves to keep my fingers warm, and other than that I didn’t have anything special to wear. Frankly, while I briefly considered the value of waterproof gloves with about 4km to go, I don’t really need them save for a few days a year; hence, I’ll cope.
I had decided the night before that I would head up to Croix-Rousse and then follow the Voie Verte until I figured out where I wanted to turn around. Usually the end of the Voie Verte is about 9km or so from my door so, assuming I didn’t entirely wimp out, I could either hook to the right for a nice 21K loop back to home, run a shorter loop to make it about a 20K morning out, or do something entirely different and turn to the left. In any case I should be able to get at least 20K in for the morning which would not be all that bad.
Almost straight away, though, I realized that it was going to take a little bit of work to warm up. Not only was the rain falling steadily, the temperature was nothing too high at about 5°C. This meant I literally did have to warm up, and I took about 15 minutes as I headed through the second and first arrondissements, and then onto the Croix Rousse, to do exactly that. I took the turn for Henon and Cuire trying to avoid the biggest puddles, hoping that my shoes wouldn’t get too weighed down by the falling rain. The puddle hopping continued as I hit the start of the Voie Verte at Cuire, and after about ten minutes of trying to pick my way through hundreds of puddles or choosing to run on one side of the trail or the other for 100m stretches at the most, I gave in and decided that I was going to get wet feet no matter what. I settled into the middle of the trail and splashed my way through the increasingly deep and wide water traps, silently thanking the geniuses on the Nike design team who worked on the drain-fast-as-all-get-out Terra Kiger 4’s – this shoe almost never disappoints!
At the end of the trail I turned back on myself and then made a loop through Sathonay before rejoining the trail and following my nose back to town. I figured this would allow me to bring up the half marathon distance by the time I dropped down to the Place des Terreaux, and I ended up being about right as the 21K mark came up about 200 meters before the city center square. By the time I got back to the Croix Rousse the market stalls were being erected in the rain and I slowed down a little as I ran between the vendors preparing to hawk everything from fresh meat to hand made cheeses and just about any fruit and vegetable you might like to try. The descent down to the city was smooth and the rain started to ease off as I started along the side of the hill and as I dropped down the Pentes. A final push along the street of a slowly awakening city and I was back at the Place des Jacobins.
I was soaked to the bone, I was cold, but I was feeling good.