After a strong, up-tempo half marathon length effort yesterday, I wanted today’s run to be about the same length but slower. It would be a recovery run, the second run of a relaxing weekend where my legs were a little tired but not overly so.
Instead of heading up the Saone today, I figured I would take a roundabout circuit along the Rhone. I had a distance goal more than anything else and I had told Cécile I wouldn’t be more than two hours, so as long as I kept myself interested in the surroundings and moving forward, I should easily get the 21.1 kilometers in before she started panicking too much more than usual.
I started out from home and pushed through the tourists and Sunday shoppers on the rue de Republique before crossing over the Rhone and dropping down onto the berges. I was heading towards the Parc de la Feyssine where I figured, from memory, a loop around and back to the footbridge at the Cite Internationale would be about 8.5 or 9 kilometers. Running through the park was nice, there were a few runners, a lot of walkers, and some mountain bikers out, too, enjoying the chilly but not unpleasant afternoon weather.
Reaching the footbridge again, I crossed over and decided to head towards Crepieux-la-Pape. I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I figured that if I went out along the railway until my GPS was reading about 13km, I could make up the rest running back home. I was approaching the 13km mark when I got to the station and a sign warned that pedestrians and cyclists were not allowed to go further. My decision had been made for me so I turned to the left, ducked under the railway line, and headed up the hill.
From the Crepieux-la-Pape rail station to the top of the hill is a fair old slog. The start of the climb is in the double-digits for grade, and while it gets a little easier afterwards you are basically running uphill until you turn onto the Voie de la Dombes. The four kilometers or so of the climb is basically all runnable but some of the sidewalks are a bit nasty and sloping which is painful on the ankles. Still, I turned onto the Voie and I was headed for home.
The Voie takes you to Cuire, then to Croix-Rousse where a Christmas Market on the main square made a mess of my idea for a shortcut. Oh well: I rallied and dropped down the Grande Cote with speed and then down a final set of stairs to Terreaux and clicked stop on the Garmin. The recovery run was done, it was about 30 seconds a kilometer slower than the day before, and I was feeling good.