We were out for Jamie’s early birthday dinner yesterday evening at the wonderful Brasserie Georges and so getting up this morning was more difficult than normal. It’s not that I got to bed so late, but more that I didn’t fall asleep easily after all the excitement of the meal, the presents, and some funny conversations all the way home.
Still, come 5:00am, I was up and out of bed, pulling on my clothes, and getting prepared for the run – but where should I be heading? I know I wanted to hit a hill as I’ve been doing that all year. I also knew I wanted to get in ten kilometers before heading home…but where to go to get those kilometers in?
I decided to head onto the Croix Rousse and then, on a whim, decided to zig-zag my way across the face of the Pentes and slowly work my way to the top. Thus, after passing Terreaux, I started up the stairs, turned to the right, and started the backwards and forwards on the way to the top. In one sense this made the climb up the hill easier as the actual ascent was broken into half a dozen different shorter rises. In addition, there were the small rolling changes that came with each of the longer zigs and zags, all of which I ran instead of hiking the last little part of a longer climb. Good for the heart rate, good for the legs, and good for waking up after a big night.
When I got close to the top of the Croix Rousse I headed across the top a little, turned to the left, then left again, and eventually found my way back to the main boulevard. It was about time to start thinking about heading downhill and back home, but I turned myself about a bit and twice – twice! – turned down dead end roads and was forced to return. Eventually, getting a little sick of this and not wanting to make it three dead end roads, I moved downhill with just a little more climbing thrown in as I tried to hit the ‘colorful stairs’ that are a nice landmark on the Pentes.
The final part of the run saw me drop down to the Saone, cross over to the foot of the Old City, and then guarantee I would hit my distance target by continuing on down the river to the bridge at Bellecour, and turning there instead of taking the more direct route home via the courthouse footbridge. Just a hundred meters before getting back to Jacobins the watch vibrated and announced the 10K was done, and I slowed down and clicked stop as the most beautiful square in the city arrived – I was done.