I watched the end of the penultimate stage of the Tour de France and yelled frequently for an Adam Yates attack. Sadly, I was to be disappointed and the young Orica Bike Exchange rider rolled across the line losing a second or two to the guy he could have beaten if only he had taken the chance or had the legs. Still, it has been a great three weeks for the youngster and he’ll depart with the white jersey in Paris tomorrow for his efforts. A future star, that’s for sure, now if only OBE would take the GC seriously and build a team around him instead of humming and hawing with Gerrans. Anyway…
After the stage finished I set out for today’s run. I had to get 20K in to keep on track for the week and so I thought I would stretch things out another five minutes or so and make it a half marathon. In France this is called a semi marathon and so, with a little help from Strava, I mapped out a semi marathon route that would be rather flat, still a little scenic, and hopefully avoid me having to wait too long to cross traffic along the way.
I set out heading down the Soane towards Mulatiere. This is the same route I have run a couple of times in the last couple of weeks and it was the first part of what I figured was a seven part semi. Reaching the Lyon Aquarium, I took a short diversion up some stairs I had found not too long ago, then hooked back around to finish a loop that brought up the fifth kilometer and the end of the second part.
Part three was the hop across the confluence of the Soane and the Rhone. This I achieved by crossing the Soane back to the left bank, hooking underneath the road to emerge next to the river again, and then circling around the Confluence Museum to the Pont Raymond Barre. Then it was straight across, a longer hook around the Rhone side of the bridge, and onto the berges to start part four: the long stretch up to the Cite International.
As I started along the berge the wind that had been at my back started hitting me right in the face. This was welcome at first as I was getting hot even with the handheld water bottle to cool me off every three kilometers. However, after five or ten minutes, it became a little annoying and the dust kicked up outweighed the cooler temperatures. I swerved around the crowds of walkers, cyclists, and strollers on the berges until I passed onto the riverside trail near the Parc de la Tete D’Or, then crossed over the footbridge to start part five of the run.
The singletrack trail running down the right bank of the Rhone has got to be one of my favorite places to run in Lyon. Though it is only about two or three kilometers long, it is a nice piece of trail and I enjoy being surrounded by the trees and the water. I followed the trail all the way down to the tunnel and the start of the sixth and penultimate part of the run: under Croix Rousse.
The tunnel was cool and barely trafficked for a Saturday afternoon. I passed a couple of walkers and a few families on bikes passed me, too. At the other end of the tunnel I took the underpass to get over to the other side of the road, then dropped down onto the path next to the Soane, and started heading for home with about three kilometers to run.
Here, in the seventh and final part of the run, I tried to get my average pace back on track. I knew I had stopped for traffic a couple of times and that I couldn’t be over 5:00 pace if those stops were taken into account, but the Garmin doesn’t really care for such pauses and so I kicked it up a gear to bring home the run strong. I ran a 4:45 20th kilometer and a 4:39 21st kilometer, then closed out the semi marathon at 4:25 pace. It was enough for the Garmin to give me a 5:00 pace overall and Strava, which measures moving time, to report that I ran a 4:57 average pace for the half marathon distance.
All in all it was a good run and I have only about 13 or 14 kilometers to run tomorrow to close out the week. An hour or so should do it and allow me to record the second great week of running as I prepare for the Thames Path in September.