I was back up this morning for another mid-length run. The goal of the day? Spend more than an hour on my feet, get up onto the Croix Rousse plateau, and run on trails a little more. Preparing for the 50 mile run I have planned for September on the Thames Path means spending at least some time running the sort of terrain that I’ll encounter there. Luckily for me, the majority of the Thames Path in the part I am running is canal path, hard packed trail, or paved walking routes. Hence, the urban trails around Lyon should be fine for prepping this run.
That’s not to say I won’t throw in something interesting from time to time. This morning, for example, I thought I would take on one of my favorite little climbs at about the half way point of the run. The Chemin des Îles climb is a steep paved climb at Crepieux and one I have run it four times before with three of those runs taking about 4:00 to crest the 600 meter climb, and one dedicated effort taking just under 3:15 to get to the top. I wouldn’t be pushing hard this morning, but I did want to see how my leg felt pushing up something a little steeper than the riverside path.
I set off from home towards the Place des Terreaux, then cut through the bottom of the Pentes and under the entrance to the Croix Rousse tunnel before dropping down onto the singletrack trail next to the Rhone. Heading upriver, I followed the trail onto the pathway beneath Saint Clair, then kept on going until I hit the end of the path and the rough trail next to the railway line. From that point I knew it was about two kilometers or so until the top of the climb I would complete, which meant about a mile or so to the bottom of the climb.
Turning at the Crepieux station and hitting the bottom of the hill, I momentarily contemplated walking the hill. Any thought of taking it easy, though, was quickly pushed aside and I settled into a steady rhythm. not too fast, not too easy, and kept moving forwards. When I got to the top I figured it was about four minutes or so from when I started and Strava would later confirm this within a couple of seconds. This I will take as a sign that my base fitness is still there – and that’s a good thing.
At the top of the hill I cut through Crepieux, moved into Caluire and Cuire, and then took a wrong turn to head down the hill towards the McDonald’s on the roundabout. I realized after about a hundred meters I was going the wrong way but figured I could find my way back easily enough. I did, with all it taking was a right turn, a left turn, and a quick cut across some grass to find the Voie de la Dombes.
Next was the straight shot along the Voie to the Cuire metro station, then following my nose past Henon and to the Croix Rousse. The drop down the side of the Croix Rousse was easy enough, then I cut a diagonal across Terreaux and was home a few minutes later with ten miles – a little more than sixteen kilometers – in the bank.