After an active rest day yesterday with Cécile and Jamie in Vienne and Lyon, I was up early this morning for a longer run. With 70K bagged for the week I wanted to push out past 20K this morning and get a good two hours of running in to close out another 90-100K week. I was feeling good, if not entirely rested coming off less than 7 hours of sleep, and as I pulled on the layers ahead of stepping out into the cold, I checked the alerts on my phone and saw one I didn’t expect.
Now the phone was warning me to bring an umbrella which, as you’d imagine, isn’t the easiest thing to cart about for two hours on the run. Still, I made sure to wrap my phone in a plastic baggie, take the waterproof jacket instead of the lighter windproof cover, and use a skullcap instead of a peaked cap (it won’t be as good at keeping the rain off my face, but it does a damn good job of keeping my ears warm).
Outside the apartment, though, there was no snow to be seen. Oh, there were a few people who looked about as capable of walking as your average snowflake, but I suspect this was more for the beer they had imbibed the night before than for anything related to the climatic conditions. I caught the GPS, and I was off.
I headed up to the Croix Rousse figuring I would run a version of the half marathon distance route I have mapped out before. Basically you start with a hill, pass through the 4th arrondissement to Cuire, then follow the Voie Verte all the way to Sathony Camp. There is not a lot of traffic even in the daytime, and there’s a lot less at 5:15am on a Sunday, so I was able to settle in and listen to the latest Ten Junk Miles podcast and the indomitable Siva – man, that guy is hilarious!
As I reached Cuire and what was, I imagine, somewhere near the highest point on the morning’s route, the snow began. For the next six or seven kilometers it continued and it wasn’t until I was approaching Crepieux and the descent to the Rhone that it really eased off. It’s amazing what a difference just a few dozen meters makes when it comes to turning snow into rain, and I have to say I prefer the former.
Dropping down to the trail by the river, I turned to the right and followed my nose back towards Lyon. I was running pretty consistent 5:00 to 5:10 kilometers to this point so I knew that the 21K loop wasn’t going to take me quite as close to the two hours of running I was shooting or. To lengthen things out a little, I crossed the footbridge from Saint Clair to the Cite Internationale, headed up to the tip of the Parc de la Tete D’Or, and then threw in half a lap of the park before exiting down at the main gate.
Along the river, over the bridge, and then past the Opera House and Town Hall to the Rue de Republique, a quick pass by the Place de Republique, and a right turn to finish at Jacobins once again. I had been aiming for two hours and I was within three minutes of that so I concluded this was good enough for staff work and clicked stop on the Garmin. Time to get out of the rain, out of the snow, and into a hot shower.
A final interesting point? After the run Strava reminded me that I had run basically the same route (including the detour over near the park) once before, a run I titled Fog and Frost. Today’s run, despite the snow and the mud, was only slightly faster – about one second per kilometer faster, in fact – but that run in January last year was one that helped set me up for a nice February. I’m a little behind this year in terms of ramping things up for distance, but I’m feeling just as good, moving just as well, and even managed to shave a few seconds off that last run, too.
All up it was another 93K week for me, though about two hours faster than the week before with all the stopping and starting at the Lurdunum Fat Ass. That’s a solid week of training and I’m happy with how the run this morning felt and the average 5:05/kilometer pace I held for the duration. I was never out of breath, my heart rate averaged in the mid-140s, and I ran on a variety of surfaces from roads to sidewalks, trails and rocks, and a fair bit of mud, too, from the flooding. I’m feeling good, and ready for some more testing in the week ahead.