Cécile and I stayed up a little late last night watching the early exit polls from Super Tuesday come in on CNN. I was disappointed – not with the results but the idea that CNN thinks whether a voter is ‘angry’ or ‘dissatisfied’ with the government passes for an exit poll – and crawled into bed closer to midnight than not. Up early again this morning to read the returns and some of the opinion floating about and then into work for the always-long Wednesday in the office.

Wednesday’s are long because of a weekly meeting scheduled for 5:30pm local time. This allows us to connect with the team on the US west coast at a reasonable morning hour for them, but it does mean that leaving work before 6pm is tough. I make it all a little longer by starting at my regular time (7am) and then leaving directly for a run after the meeting.

The Lyon Running Club has their regular Wednesday night run starting at 7:30pm from the Place des Celestins and I can usually fit in some good kilometers before joining the group for something around about 10km of gentle running. If I could keep to 5:00 pace before joining the group and then knock over the 10km there, I should be able to sneak in a half marathon length run before heading home to warmth and welcome.

The only downside I could imagine? The weather. It has been cold in Lyon all week but the rain returned today, too. It was light while I was eating lunch and then bucketed down for about forty minutes in the afternoon. While it had cleared up a little by the time I headed into the weekly meeting I was sure that the trails would be soggy, slippery, and the chance of getting wet and muddy was pretty high.


As it happened, though, the ground on the trail was a little boggy in parts but basically OK. I took off from work for the Parc de la Feyssine and did  quick loop before heading back to the Cite Internationale and crossing over the Rhone on the footbridge. I cut through the base of Saint Clair and then entered the tunnel underneath the Croix Rousse. It’s a straight shot, 1.7km from end to end and it’s usually not crowded. Tonight there were more bicycles than runners and I enjoyed the end of the Ten Junk Miles podcast as I sped through the warm air in around eight minutes.

On the other side of the tunnel I crossed over the Saone and followed it downriver towards Perrache. I was watching the clock and – knowing how sweaty I was – trying my best to avoid arriving at the rendezvous point too early and freezing in my own sweat afterwards. I crossed back to the Presque Isle, made a final run along the river back towards the Place de Celestins and joined up with about thirty Lyon Running Club members ready to get going.

When we did we took a rather roundabout route towards Confluence and the Museum. Once we arrived after about four or five steady but slow kilometers we took a group photo and then for some sadistic reason we all did various ‘planks’ for thirty seconds at a time. These are not my favorite exercise at the best of times but after having 23km already run the desire to lay down on the concrete on my toes and elbows was just not there. Still, I got through it and was happy to get going again afterwards.

We crossed over the Pont Raymond Barre and headed back towards the centre of town on the berges next to the Rhone. By the time I got to Guillotiere, however, it was about ten minutes to nine and I realized I was going to be late getting home. I said a quick goodbye and settled in to running the last couple of kilometers home instead of continuing with the group to the Place des Celestins again. A little more than ten minutes later and I was home, ready to jump in the shower, and happy to have got about three hours of exercise – including about two and a half hours of running – in on a midweek evening.

Distance: 29.5km

Elevation: 239m

Time: 2:31:18


Image by Pierre-Antoine Champin.

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