Lyon welcomed something approaching a summer’s day today, or at least a mildly warmer winter’s day. With temperatures around 16°C to 18°C and not a cloud in the sky, the scene was set for a nice afternoon running. I could leave the waterproof jacket and hat at home, I could leave the arm warmers at home, and I could walk out the door with not much more than my shoes, my music, and a bottle of water.

I decided that, with about a month to go before race day, I would head down to the site of the Saint-Fons 6 Hour race and scout the course. Or look around, really. The course itself seems to be a loopy hairpin-style affair judging from what I can find online, so I thought I would simply take a look around and get a feeling for the way the land lies down there. As it’s about 10km or so from the apartment, it would make for a nice Sunday afternoon run there and back.

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Things were pretty easy heading down to Saint-Fons. I dropped down onto the berges next to the Rhone river until I was opposite Perrache, then turned up to follow the tram line until I hooked towards the Route de Vienne. I then followed the Route de Vienne out until I arrived in Saint-Fons, at which point I followed the signs for the train station until I found the event site.

The site itself looks very nice and it is a shame that Jamie won’t be with me that weekend as there is plenty of grass and equipment for him to play on. I ran a loop of the park, then headed up a rather steep hill to rejoin the Route de Vienne and begin to make my way back towards home.

On the way back I figured I would extend things slightly by making a diversion in the direction of the Confluence quarter. I headed down towards the Halle Tony Garnier, then crossed the bridge to the Museum, and then looped around the point so as to avoid crossing the busy road above.

And that’s about where I strained my left calf muscle.

The pain bit immediately as I dropped down a very short and slight incline behind the museum and I immediately decided that stopping to walk would be a good decision. I clicked off the watch, took a sig of water, and started walking on an aching strained calf along the Saone towards Confluence proper.

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As I walked the calf started to loosen up a little, though the pain didn’t go away. The tightness was making itself known and I decided that the best thing I could do would be to keep moving and then when I started feeling a little less strained, sit for a second and massage it as best I could.

When I got to the Confluence marina, this is exactly what I did. I felt the muscle loosen and while it didn’t feel great, it was a little better. With an eye on the clock and not wanting Cécile to worry if I was too later coming home, I set off running again.

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I made my way back along the Saone, past Perrache and then past the Place Bellecour. I can’t say it didn’t hurt – it did. But the pain was bearable. After a couple of kilometers, though, the stopping and starting again was causing me to worry that I would strain the muscle further, so I clicked off the watch and decided to take a brisk walk through the Presque Isle to find my way home.

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Twisting through the narrow streets towards Terreaux and then up the hill I could feel the muscle biting on the back of my leg. I knew I would have to rest it tonight, and I’ll take tomorrow off, too. With a long run scheduled on Wednesday, I may even take Tuesday off running, too. I don’t want to hurt myself trying to get junk miles in when it would be better for my preparation for the Saint-Fons 6 Hour if I managed injuries correctly. A couple of days and I should be right as rain.

But damn if it doesn’t hurt right now…

Distance: 18.7km running (16.3km +2.4km) + 2.9km walking (1.6km + 1.3km)

Elevation: 87m (34m + 0m + 16m + 37m)

Time: 1:54:17 (1:14:24 + 14:10 + 13:42 + 12:01)

Strava + Strava + Strava + Strava

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