As I pulled on the running gear I glanced outside and realized it was not going to be a pleasant morning running in Lyon. It was raining heavily, the sky was dark, and the roads looked slippery from our first floor window.
While this meant my regular weekend jog with Jamie was probably not going to happen, I still wanted to get out and get my run in before the day got away from me, and so running in the rain it was going to be. I threw on my rain jacket, added my waterproof cap, and tucked the iPod with the latest episode of Dan Carlin’s Common Sense cued up into my pocket.
I was ready to get wet.
The other night I had run to the end of the Presque Isle with the Lyon Running Club. Having never been down there before, I was pleasantly surprised and so this morning I thought I would make another visit. I only wanted to get in an hour of running this morning and I thought this might make for a nice 12 to 13km loop.
One of the podcasts I listen to regularly is Scott Johnson’s Ultrafinishers. Each episode ends with Scott asking his guest the ‘Crazy 8’ questions, one of which is about wildlife that they may have encountered out on the trail. I had that in mind when I was running this morning as I passed dozens of ducks and swans, and more than my fair share of rats, too. I imagine the rain and the flooding drives them out of wherever they spend their time ratting away the days. The berges on the run down to Confluence were teaming in them, a situation I can’t imagine does much for the tourists crowded onto the cruise ships there.
After turning around at the end of the Presque Isle surrounded by swans, I headed back up the river Saone towards home. I have to say that I was keeping a fairly high pace this morning, clocking in regular 4:30 splits from about the second kilometer through to almost the end of the run. I was feeling good and I am increasingly convinced that the additional rest I am taking between runs is helping. That I am still getting my 50 miles (80 kilometers) completed and not getting injured is a significant bonus, too.
Moving back through the city was a little dicey as the pavement was slippery. The rain and the smooth streets don’t mix well and I was taking care to stay upright and not put myself out of action with a completley avoidable injury. As I approached the Opera House I considered looping through the Place de Terreaux and then up through the Jardin des Plantes to home, but decided instead to give the straight shot up the Montee St Sebastien to home a go instead.
This is the shortest way from the Opera House to home, but it is also the steepest. A couple of years ago I created a Strava segment that I called Hills. Stairs. Quit Complaining. Just Do It. And since I created it, 78 people have run it with times ranging from under 90 seconds (damn fast) to 5:34 (about walking pace with Jamie). My best time was a 1:35 that I had run back in November 2014 and while I had run a couple of times approaching that recently (1:42 and 1:44) I had not beaten my 2014 time.
Until this morning.
I dug deep and kicked it up a notch in the last 50 meters and again as I hit the stairs that finish off the segment. I was already feeling good on the first part of the segment leading to the Place du Griffon, and the final push was enough to set the Course Record and smash my own record for the segment, too.