I’m ten days out from the Saint-Fons 6 Hour race and so well into taper mode. Luckily, Wednesday night is the regular Lyon Running Club group run and it is usually a steady, 6:00 or 6:30 pace run through the city and this was just perfect for my tapering period.
The only downside? It was raining all afternoon and it rained lightly but consistently throughout the early evening, too. Though spring is technically only a week away, it was feeling very wintry when I stepped out the door.
Before meeting up with the LRC crew I had about 25 minutes to get warmed up. I took advantage of this and made a four kilometer loop down to Perrache before heading back to the Place des Celestins. We waited there for the group to come together and it soon became clear that not all of the twenty who had promised to be there were going to brave the weather. Indeed, when we took off it was down to 13 people, about the smallest Wednesday night group I have run with so far.
We took off across the Presque Isle and crossed over the bridge to the 6th arrondissement and it was here that things took a joyful turn. One of the regular runners had a portable speaker in her backpack and connected it to her phone for a moving jukebox of sorts. The beats were nice, if unfamiliar, and helped keep spirits up running through the rain.
We hooked into the Parc de la Tete D’Or and then exited again to drop down onto the berges for the running test of the night. The decision was made to run three one-minute intervals with a minute’s rest in between each. I wasn’t really looking forward to this, though not because of the sprinting; rather, I didn’t want to pull a muscle or try a little too hard and injure myself ahead of the race. Hence, I took the intervals at my own speed.
On the first interval I stayed in the first five or six places but well back from the front. On the second I kept the same sort of position for about 20 seconds, then kicked a little for about 20 seconds. I didn’t stretch out my stride, preferring to just spin the legs around a little quicker and keep my stride short. I did kick away from the others I was running next to, but I didn’t push too hard. For the third and final interval I just kept it nice and steady. No injuries, no worries.
We looped back onto the Presque Isle and then crossed into the Old City. The cobblestones were a little treacherous in the rain but nothing went wrong and the pace was reasonably high for the LRC run through here at about 5:40 pace. We crossed back to the Presque Isle, crossed the Place Bellecour, and finished up at the Place des Celestins again.
After a quick photo I headed for home with Thierry who lives a little further around the Saone. He’s getting prepped for the Lyon Urban Trail and I don’t envy him the stairs he’ll be climbing. My race might be six hours long but at least it is nice and flat.