I had been looking forward to this morning’s long run for a couple of days now. It would be the last long hit out before the race at Saint-Fons in two weeks time and so I wanted to make sure I could run at the pace I had set for myself (5:00) and for a few hours at a time while hydrating and eating, too.
Initially I was tossing up between heading out to Miribel, over to the Parc de Parilly in Bron, or onto the Mont D’Or. My decision was made, though, just before I set out when I was called to drop Jamie’s sports gear over at his Mum’s house. It is only about a kilometer from my place but it made the Mont D’Or seem further away and it was only just a few hundred meters from the trail heading to Miribel, and so that’s where I went.
I made my way through the Parc de la Feyssine listening to the latest Ultrafinishers podcast and followed the trail in the direction of Decines. I took the loop around the Grande Large and then crossed into the Grande Parc de Miribel Jonage after about 17km.
On the way out to Miribel I had been trying to keep a steady pace and stick to my eating and drinking schedule. I take some water from the Camelbak every 5km and I had about 300 calories worth of jelly beans every 10km or so (along with some water to wash them down). I was happy with the pacing and with the nutrition and it gives me confidence heading into Saint-Fons.
The run through the park was great fun and I was on trails I had not run on before. I basically followed route markers that pointed me towards the main leisure center knowing I could then loop out of the park after that. Things went pretty smoothly and I headed onto familiar trails after crossing over the water at the Miribel village and keeping the giant statue of the Madonna in sight.
Coming off the bridge I took a short walking break. I never stopped moving and made sure I was eating and drinking enough and then I got back to running, feeling pretty happy I was still hitting sub-5:00 kilometers. I was a little tired heading into the last five kilometers and took a second walking break, and then ran in the last few kilometers before hitting stop on the Garmin as it ticked over the 36 kilometer mark.
Home again, I took stock of the pace – 4:58 and right on schedule – and how I felt, which was pretty good. I’m a little sore in my feet but nothing more than normal after running that far, and I’m uninjured with two weeks to go.
What’s more, with a goal of 60km for the Saint-Fons 6 Hour race and 36km completed today in about three hours, I’m feeling in good shape for hitting my mark.