Up early this morning to get the daily run in ahead of a full day of work and family commitments. I wanted to get in an hour or maybe a little more on my feet before getting home, getting showered, getting caffeinated and getting the day started. I had a boy to get on the bus to school, a commute to complete, and a full day of meetings and writing ahead of me. if there was going to be time to run it would have to be early, hence the alarm was set for 4:45am and I was out the door at 5:00am.

As ever, I learnt from the mistakes of the past and made sure I wore an extra layer as I headed out into the cold. I only have a rainproof jacket but it is also windproof so I hoped it would keep the wind away from my chest and help me be a little warmed. Gloves and skullcap? You betcha!

I headed off upriver along the left bank of the Saone with my headlamp on full. The first couple of kilometers along the river are well lit even in the early morning but the last couple of kilometers between Vaise and the Isle Barbe are dark and the headlamp becomes essential.

Getting to the bridge at the Isle Barbe, I skipped underneath and took the trail another 500 meters further up the river before turning back on myself and crossing over the bridge to the base of the Mont D’Or. This would be my challenge for the day: the Paves de Isle Barbe. This short climb is only about 300 meters long but is very steep in parts. Indeed, the last 100 meters kicks up to between 11% and a horrendously intimidating 30%, and I always almost walk this section. The first couple of hundred meters, on the other hand, are steep at around¬†5% and up to 15% on the curves, but it’s runnable. In the past the fastest I have gone up this hill is 2:41, with a more reasonable ascent around the 3:10 mark. My top five times for the moment on the hill are as follows:


I wasn’t planning on going much faster than this on today’s run but it would be nice to record a sub-3:00 time. It’s hard to tell right now how much explosive power I have to go faster up a hill like that with the No Sugar, No Grain (NSNG) diet I am embracing and I was interested to see how I could feel.

The result? Kinda¬†meh. I didn’t have the power to run all of the curves on the lower sections and I probably didn’t hike as fast as I could have at the top. A 3:18 was all I could manage and I am putting it down to the change in diet more than anything else. I’ll have to see how I fare after another couple of weeks of NSNG.

The run back into town was uneventful. I ran the right bank of the river back into town which is about half uneven trail and path, and half smooth dual-use path. Coming back into Lyon the traffic was light and I didn’t need to stop for traffic at the road crossings and I closed out the run at Jacobins feeling happy with the effort I had put in but damn happy to be getting out of the cold.

Now it’s a shower, then wake Jamie up, get breakfast on the table, and get out the door – and another day is underway.


Elevation: 80m

Time: 1:18:06


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