Cécile’s parents are in town for a couple of days this week and, out of respect for their sleep, I probably won’t be hitting the road at 5am (and waking up people unfamiliar with my morning habits) while they are here. Hence, if I am going to bank the +100km week that I have planned for this part of the training block, I have to make sure I can fit in the runs around their visit, and this means loading up early in the week before they arrive.
For this reason, I set out this morning with the goal of hitting 30km before breakfast and then backing that effort up with the Lyon Running Club 10km evening run tonight. Hopefully it will be at recovery pace and I’ll be able to close out Wednesday with 75km already run, and then decide how I’ll divide the final 25 or 30km between Thursday morning and Sunday evening.
Checking out Strava and some trails online yesterday afternoon, I thought it might be nice to head towards Decines on the trail along the canal. This is a nice run and, indeed, I have also walked it a couple of times with both Jamie and Cécile. To get there is pretty simple and just requires crossing over the Rhone to the berges, passing by the Parc de la Tete D’Or, passing through the Parc de la Feyssine, dodging the dozens of rabbits criss-crossing the trail, and then following your nose. I took a short walking break at the 10km mark, and then made the turnaround at a bridge over the canal about 14km into the effort. I knew this would mean throwing in a ‘finishing loop’ on the way back in order to hit my 30km target, but it was a nice place to turn and I got to run a bit of trail on the other side of the canal I had not run before.
Heading back towards Lyon I paused momentarily to take a photo on a particularly nice piece of singletrack trail. There was a sign around here that suggested that sometimes you could hear mermaids singing though, sadly, I did not hear any this morning. Shortly afterwards I crossed over the canal, took another short walking break at the 20km mark, and then pushed back through the Parc de la Feyssine and then the Parc de la Tete D’Or towards home. To bring up the distance, I thought I would loop through Bellecour and then head into the old city to pick up some bread for breakfast. I timed my finish perfectly at the boulangerie but, sadly, found it was closed today. Thankfully, only about a hundred meters away, was another bakery where I got my baguette and headed home with tired, but satisfied, legs.
The Lyon Running Club evening run is usually an hour-long run of about 10km or so. It is also usually about 15 people at a minimum but, tonight, we were a group of 7. After a brief discussion of where to head, we set off through the Old City (still packed with tourists) and then dropped down onto the path next to the Soane to head towards Confluence. When we arrived with already 7km banked I realized that we would be overshooting our 10km target by a little bit, but most people seemed happy with the pace and were chatting easily enough so it didn’t seem to pose much of a problem.
As the evening’s ‘zone defi’ (challenge zone) I suggested the Pont Raymond Barre and, surprising myself considering I had already run the 30K this morning, I kept up with the fastest of the group to the mid-point. Then, noticing he was breathing a little heavy, I upped the cadence and stretched out my stride a little and managed to finish first across the bridge, even notching up a personal record for the Strava segment a good 12 seconds faster than the previous best I had recorded. Not bad, I reckon, and having that sort of kick suggests that the longer distances are not quite stunting my speed just yet.
We turned for home heading up the Rhone and crossed the bridge at Guillotiere to finish things off. Two of the seven starters had peeled off for home at Guillotiere, and two others were content to run a little behind our front group of three. As we got closer to Celestins the pace picked up in an unspoken acknowledgement of the unofficial sprint to the finish, and as we rounded the final corner I pumped up my pace again for the end and was happy, again, to find I had a kick of sorts. In the end we managed nearly 12km and I felt great.
Distance: 41.7km (30km + 11.7km)
Elevation: 140m (68m + 72m)
Time: 3:49:35 (2:38:03 + 1:11:32)