I woke up feeling good this morning. Indeed, it was about the first time since the CIEC 6 Hour where I didn’t feel any aches or pains which, I guess, puts the recovery time from an ultra at about two weeks all up. That’s good information to know, especially when I have my next race in about two weeks time. It’ll be interesting to see if the same ‘two weeks to total recovery’ holds there.
With only two weeks to go until the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra, I wanted to get in a hard run this morning. I wasn’t going to shoot for distance but rather for consistent tempo. I wanted to throw in some hills, too, but not stairs or anything too steep. Runnable was what I was looking for and so I headed for the Mont d’Or.
Getting to the Mont d’Or means either following the Saone and taking a turn up the side, or heading out through Valmy and Vaise to Champagne-au-Mont-d’Or. Searching for that runnable hill, I took the latter option and headed first up the Croix Rousse, then descended down to Valmy and cut through Vaise to start the climb.
All up the climb would be about four kilometers of consistent uphill. Sometimes it was steady, sometimes steeper, but always heading up. This was exactly what I was hoping for an I tried to keep the pace steady and up-tempo even with the ascent.
I kept turning in sub-5:00 kilometers all the way to the top, save for the horrendous sixth kilometer with its 8% average grade. That slowed me down some and I could only manage a 6:25. WhenI made the turnaround after the eighth kilometer and after passing through Champagne-au-Mont-d’Or, however, I glanced at my watch, did the math, and decided I would shoot for an average pace under 5:00 by the time I wrapped up the run.
I knew I would gain some of the seconds I was behind that 5:00 pace back on the descent from Champagne-au-Mont-d’Or, but I also knew I would have to hold that same sub-5:00 pace when I hit the flat with about 3.5km to go. I focused on maintaining the stride, maintaining the breathing and as I turned towards the tunnel underneath the Croix-Rousse, I knew that a consistent pace until the end of the tunnel would have me finish with that sub-5:00 pace for the morning’s effort.
The tunnel was cool and I passed a couple of runners enjoying the morning air coming the other way. As I pulled out of the tunnel with a hundred meters to go, I took the u-turn to pass under the road, came up the other side with a final push, and clicked stop on the watch to finish off the tempo run with a 4:54 average pace.
Not bad considering the hill I ran in the middle, and a great way to start a Sunday.