It’s been a very busy week for me with work, travel, family, and not quite as much sleep as I would like. Still, it’s also been a very productive week so I am not complaining, though it did leave me wondering if today should be a rest day. Cécile, indeed, asked me if I was trying to achieve some sort of ‘run every day’ goal that I hadn’t told her about and I replied, truthfully, that I don’t have that on the agenda for 2017. However, I added that I do feel better the days that I run as it allows me to clear my head, get my heart pumping a little, and do something I really, truly enjoy, if only for a short time.
The run today was one of those ‘short time’ efforts at only just longer than half an hour. However, it was also my first real reconnaissance of the route that I am running all day and into the night on the 18th of February when I do my first annual Town and Tube run. On that day I will set out to run a loop through Lyon and then through the tunnel under the Croix Rousse – hence ‘Town and Tube’ – once an hour, every hour, until I have run 100km. It’s ‘100K in a Day’ and I am hoping it will be a nice big day to get my ultra season underway for real.
I ran the route I had mapped out for the run today and it is fairly straightforward. Leaving the Place des Jacobins I headed straight for the Saone, turned right when I got there, and headed for the tunnel. Nearing the tunnel I ramped up to the street level, got lucky with the lights and ran straight across the road, and then went through the 1800 meter tunnel. Out the other side, I ducked under the roadway, emerged at the foot of the Pentes and then descended to Terreaux before the final push down the Rue Edouard Herriot to Jacobins again.
I had measured it on Strava as about 6.3km but the run came out slightly longer at about 6.5km. No matter, I think: the math will still work to achieve a marathon by 12 noon and 100km by 9pm. The distance per lap might change around a little depending on the traffic, too, as I don’t think I’ll be in the mood for waiting at the entrance to the tunnel and may take advantage of the underpass if it looks like I’ll lose minutes waiting for lights to go green.
So is it a difficult route? I don’t think so. The principal difficulties will be:
- hydration and nutrition
- keeping warm/cool depending on temperatures between laps
- the slight rise before the descent to Terreaux will surprise after a couple of laps
- keeping motivated – being in town will offer a lot of opportunities to quit
All of these can be managed and, assuming no injuries, it’ll be a mental game more than anything else. Ultras, as has been said before, are basically 10% running and 90% mental, and the Town and Tube will be a good, accessible test of my mental strength early in the season.