After yesterday’s steady effort through the mud I wanted to get another steady run in today but without getting everything all dirty. It’s not that I don’t like running muddy trails – far from it. However, I am now only “five sleeps” out from the Saintelyon and the less gear I have to worry about washing and preparing, the better.
Instead of heading upriver to the mud, then, I decided to head downriver, sticking to the well-above-the-waterline paths on the Saone near Confluence and Mulatiere. A nice loop of about ten kilometers at a steady pace should round out the week and put me in good shape for the last couple of training days before the big race.
It was cold and even drizzling a little when I got started by the Soane and I was a little disheartened to find that the first few hundred meters were slippery and wet. I focused on putting my feet in the right place and not doing anything that would see me slip over or fall into the river, and I succeeded. A quick up-and-over to get back on the trail after the footbridge next to the synagogue and I was headed down to Confluence.
There were a few families out in the cool afternoon air and a lot more around the shopping center at about the 2.5km point. Everything is open for Christmas shopping so there were plenty of people making the most of the extra shopping hours. I kept heading down the river, took the tunnel to find the bridge to Mulatiere, and then started heading back into town.
Getting back into Lyon, I had a nice run of traffic lights and made it to the foot of the Old City without skipping a beat. I decided to make things a little more interesting underfoot by heading into the cobblestoned streets of the Old City and this was mainly good fun, save for the tourists who were clogging the streets and slowing me down between Saint Jean and Saint Paul. Still, I didn’t slow down all that much and when I left the Old City I shot across the Saone again, cut through Terreaux and the city center, and clicked stop on the Garmin near to home.
It was a nice tune-up ahead of the race next weekend and I am feeling good about my chances of having fun out on the trails between Saint Etienne and Lyon.