Today was the first day I planned to run since the Saintelyon last weekend. I actually recovered from the race well and probably could have gone on the Wednesday night run with the Lyon Running Club, and I certainly could have gone out Thursday or Friday. However, with nothing on the calendar until the new year and with family and work keeping me very busy, I decided to leave things for the weekend and Saturday afternoon.
The goal of the run was pretty simple: see how I felt. I didn’t have a distance goal in mind and I told Cécile before I left that I really didn’t know when I would be back. I had a podcast to listen to and I think I would have been happy with anything from about 12 to 15 kilometers. As it happened, though, I was feeling better than I thought I would and so – as I found a nice pace – I decided to see how long I could hold it.
The route I chose was essentially an out and back. The city is clogged with tourists right now for the light festival and so getting out of town and away from the crowds was key. I headed straight up the Saone and followed my nose thinking I would turn around near Ombrosa for a nice 15K circuit. I was keeping a nice, steady, and up-tempo pace and figured I could hold this on the way out before slowing it on the way home.
And then I thought: why don’t I push this a little further?
By the time I got to Ombrosa I still hadn’t run a split above 4:50 so I decided to make a nice run of it: 21.1K was on the cards, a Saturday night semi-marathon as a comeback run!
I continued upriver to Fontaines-sur-Saone, crossed over the river, and then headed back again. When I got to the Pont Bocuse I crossed back over to the left bank and headed for home. My splits weren’t slowing down and I was not overexerting myself. Sure, I couldn’t run 50 miles at this pace, but I could close out a half marathon if I kept up the effort.
Passing the Isle Barbe I knew I had about 5 kilometers to go and I was feeling good. Around this point there are a couple of very short ramps but they didn’t break my rhythm and I kept pushing for home. With two kilometers to go I opened up my stride a little more and recorded the fastest split of the run so far (4:38) and then kept up the effort to beat that split with the final kilometer (4:35). Just after I passed the 21.1K point I clicked stop on the Garmin and walked the final kilometer home feeling satisfied with the effort.
I’m back, baby!