I’ve got only one real goal for this week: the 10km de la Somme on Saturday.

My focus all week has been on getting mentally prepared for the race but I did want to get in one final run at a slow pace to just see how my legs felt before heading north to Amiens – and what better way to do that than the Wednesday night Lyon Running Club run?

I don’t normally have goals for the Wednesday night runs, save for just taking it easy and recovering. In most cases the Wednesday night run is the second or even third run of the Wednesday so taking it easy comes, well, easy. With the longest race of the year just a couple of days away, this taking it easy became even more important and so, before heading out for the evening, I added one provision I don’t usually: no zone defi for me tonight.

Generally the Club introduces a zone defi about half way through the run. It’s anything from a couple of intervals on stairs to a sprint in the park to a mile-long effort at marathon pace through the Croix Rousse tunnel. What it means is that for a few minutes my muscles are working overtime and though I have never got injured, there’s a chance of over-exertion and over-extending on some strides and – bam! – a pulled muscle three days before a race that will take all day.

I know that I’ll be gently mocked a little for not participating in the zone defi, especially so as I usually try and run near the front part of the group for this part of the run. Still, I’ll cop the smiles and reject the urging on of the others in exchange for a more comfortable run on Saturday. If I can keep my heart rate nice and steady and enjoy the shakeout-style of the run, I’ll be happy.


I lucked out.

The run was one of the smoother runs in recent memory with barely a stop along the way and a relatively tight group throughout. Pauline as leading tonight and she set a nice steady 6:00 to 6:15 pace from the start and we never really dropped out of it.

We cut through the city center, passed over the bridge to Guillotiere and then dropped onto the berges heading for Gerland. At the Pont Raymond Barre we passed back onto the presque isle, took a snapshot beneath the Confluence Museum, then headed for home. I was catching up with everyone who had run the Run in Lyon half and full marathons on the weekend and I enjoyed chatting with Nicolas, Thierry, and a really nice girl I’ve spoken to a couple of times but who I have not yet asked for her name – next week, maybe?

We headed back along the Soane, crossed back to Celestins, and we were done with a very smooth and gentle nine kilometers banked. I feel good, my heart rate averaged under 150, and I didn’t get injured…and there wasn’t even a zone defi tonight!

Three days to the 100K and – knock on wood – I think things are on track.

Distance: 9km

Elevation: 28m

Time: 57:52


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