It’s a rainy day in Lyon today. Not heavy rain, mind you, but consistent, the sort of rain that is fine when you are just crossing a street but which can make you wet once you walk to the corner store and back. The sidewalks are slippery, the trails are muddy, and a passing car hit a puddle and splashed me and Jamie on the way to the school bus this morning.
Where did the spring weather of the Saint-Fons 6 Hour race go?
Jamie has his fencing lesson on Tuesday evening and it finishes at 6pm. I planned to get out of work at 5pm and fit in a run in the park before picking him up and getting home for a hot dinner. I had my rain jacket, I took the plastic cover for my run commuting bag, and I took the waterproof running cap for good measure and to keep my head at least a little warm in the rain.
By the time it came to leave work, however, it was not going to be a matter of whether I would get slightly wet but just how completely soaked I was going to get. A colleague stopped me on the way out and asked if I was really going to run in what was now heavy rain. I confirmed that, yes, that was the plan and I had a little less than an hour to make it to the fencing club in time to collect Jamie. She wished me luck and I was out the door.
I made a bee-line for Villeurbanne and cut through the area around the clinic at Tonkin until I came out at the Boulevard du 11 Novembre. By this time I was running at a steady tempo of around 4:30 or 4:40 per kilometer and I decided I could probably get a nice 10km in at that pace before the fencing class finished. I turned right and headed up along the boulevard which was heavy with police, gendarmes, and protesting students asking for God-only-knows what.
I continued up past INSA and looped around the cemetery before heading back parallel to the Parc de la Feyssine and in the direction of the park. I had to stop briefly a couple of times at traffic lights but I figured this was better than trying to shoot across the road in low-light and rainy conditions. When I got to the Parc de la Tete D’Or I turned in and followed the running loop back towards the main entrance.
I was surprised to see that there were other runners out in the poor weather, though I seemed to be the only one with a backpack full of work clothes on his back. I sped along the edge of the park and even notched up a PB for a Strava segment there, and a near PB for another Strava segment in the park, too. Considering the weather and what I had on my back, the fact that I picked these two PB’s up, cracked a Strava Top 10 for another segment, and got through the first 5km just a minute slower than my best 5K time suggests I am carrying some good form.
Or that I just really wanted to get out of the rain fast.
I finished a half loop of the park and left to enter the 6th arrondissement and make my way to the fencing club. I thought I had got the 10K distance about right but I pulled up about 200m short according to my Garmin. I love the round numbers and so I threw in a cool down jog around the block to click stop at the 10km mark and make my way out of the rain.