Up early again to get the running out of the way before work and before what Cécile has promised to be date night. I’m not sure what date night is going to involve, but I am pretty sure it wouldn’t be an hour of hill work so it’s best to get that out of the way in the morning.
The goal today was to enjoy some uphill and downhill running. I may be slow on the uphills but I am terrible on the downhills as my two black toenails in the wake of the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra this year confirmed. Still, as the Saintelyon is coming up and as there are plenty of hills on that course, I need to start thinking about running uphill a little more. The trip to San Francisco next week should help in that regard but when I’ve got a nice little hill just a few hundred meters away in the shape of Fourviere, why wouldn’t I start early?
I started out from Jacobins and crossed the river to the Old City before starting my way up the hill. The first climb was the Montée du Chemin Neuf and it is steep at 9%. I did well, though, and didn’t push things too hard as I knew I had a full hour out in the early morning darkness and I didn’t need to blow up on the very first climb.
At the top of the climb I reached Saint Just and turned for the top of Fourviere. The twisting switchbacks here are one of my favorite hills to climb and the Montéé de Loyasse climb, at ‘only’ 5%, is a place to catch your breath before the final push up and over to the basilica at Fourviere.
I ran past the basilica and down to the Metal Tower expecting that the park at the top of the hill would be closed and I would descend down to Saint Paul to begin another climb. As it happened, though, the park was open and I cut across the top of the Sarra and then dropped down the staircase to the Saone again.
Having come down, it was time to head up again. I took the Montéé Saint Exupery which was a hell of climb at about an 8% grade for about 500 meters, then turned right and caught my breath on the descent down to Valmy. I didn’t rest for long at the bottom and instead swept left and turned up the short and sharp hill to Gorge de Loup before continuing on the climb of the Rue Pierre Audry, a 700 meter long climb at 7% back up to Saint Just.
I was just past the 8 kilometer point now and ready to turn for home. I dropped down the Montée de Choulans, reached the Saone once again, and followed it back to the courthouse footbridge and the end of the run at a nice sub-5:10 pace.