I had a day off today before a big trip for the new company tomorrow – California, here I come! – and so I thought I would try and get some good time in on my feet in the morning before thinking about packing for the trip in the afternoon. I wanted to try something a little longer, indeed the longest since coming back from injury, and throw in some nice ascent, too. Poking around for somewhere to go, I remembered the small village of La Maison Blanche in the Monts Lyonnais. As it is election season in the US and the race for the ‘Maison Blanche’ in Washington, DC is well and truly on, I thought it would be fitting to make my way up the hill to the village, then loop around back to Lyon.
I set off at an easy enough pace heading across the Soane and downriver to wards Mulatiere. At the Aquarium I kept moving forward, topping the rise above Oullins and then dropping down into the center of that town. I took a right and then followed the D50 until the base of the first long climb of the morning, La Vieille Route. This I ran from bottom to top but it was a long 15 minute slog. There was a little bit of traffic so I was concentrating both on keeping my pace up and not getting dead. Luckily, I achieved both aims and when I topped out the 2.4 kilometer, 5% grade hill I settled in for a walking break and took in some calories.
I skirted the edge of Chaponest and then headed for the next big village on my route: Brindas. Finding my way was easy enough as the D50 runs straight up from Oullins all the way until La Maison Blanche. I ran this section, too, promising myself another walking break when I got to the top of the climb at La Maison Blanche. Yes, even if this section was not as steep as the opening climb, it was still going up slowly but surely.
After passing through Brindas I had only a couple of kilometers of agricultural land to move through before arriving at La Maison Blanche. The cows seemed a little spooked as I ran by but the horses seemed only passingly interested. The most active of all seemed to be the roosters that were running free for some reason and not at all afraid of the cyclists, runners, or traffic about the place. With about a kilometer to go before the top of the hill I got a message from Cécile on my phone and, shortly after topping the hill and turning right at La Maison Blanche I settled in to a walking break to eat a little and call Cécile back.
The next major point of call on my loop was to be Craponne. In particular, I was thinking ahead to the McDonald’s there where I was hoping to score an early morning Coke and refill my water bladder. It was hot and getting hotter and I could do with a short rest, some sugar, and some water. Sadly, on arriving at McDonald’s I found they don’t do breakfast and wouldn’t even be open until 10am. Not wanting to hang around for an hour or more, I kept going down the road a little until I found a small supermarket where I grabbed a Coke and a large bottle of water.
Leaving Craponne there is a steep descent and a combination of being rather poor at running downhills at the best of times and being a little dehydrated, too, convinced me to walk the downhill. Indeed, I power hiked the next 5 kilometers or so until, leaving Tassin-la-Demi-Lune, I started feeling good again and started running again. I climbed the hill out of Tassin and heading to wards Saint Just with relative ease and was running sub-6:00 kilometers up the hill and across the plateau of Saint Just. After that it was a simple descent into the Old City, across the footbridge on the Soane, and a final push through the side street to Jacobins here I clicked stop.
I’m a little tired, a little annoyed I didn’t hydrate better, but overall I am happy with this run.
Now on to San Francisco!