The weather has been absurdly perfect for the past week, and I've been doing my best to work in afternoon runs. Today was no different. Tyler was going to join but couldn't get away from work, so it was just Luchi and me to take on Twin Peaks.
I prefer to start the loop out Bernal and over the hill, but for Luchi's sake I decided against it. Running is supposed to be fun, right? So we skirted the hill and ended up on Mission, a gradual up through traffic and people, an overall lousy start to what ends up being a beautiful course.
But once you hit Glen Park and start climbing, the city crowds drift away. Winding up O'Shaughnessy, Glen Canyon to the east, your mind starts to clear. You catch a glimpse of the peak. You grind up in its shadow.
A few months ago I tried to take the Strava KOM on the O'Shaughnessy climb. I missed it by two minutes -- a big gap on a 10-minute run. I've got a lot of work to do on my climbing strength.
Luchi was hanging well so I kept it at a brisk pace. We hit Portola and made the turn for the top. I've come to really enjoy this run. There's just enough elevation to keep it interesting and a gradual enough climb that you can go just about as hard as you want. And when you get halfway up, the hills start to slip away and the city spreads out. The views are out of this world.
Winding up Twin Peaks Blvd, I noticed that there's a trail along the side of the road that joins up with those that wrap around the Peaks. I made a mental note to drive up here some time and hit the trails. I am slowly resolving to spend more time on the trails, where I feel at home, and get away from the roads. Which in San Francisco is easier than most cities, but still takes some effort.
I'm not sure I've ever seen it clearer. Diablo was right there -- ominous for my race this weekend. I could see all the way up the headlands, Mt. Tam looming behind my headland hills, looking puny by comparison. Downtown and the rest of the city down in front, not a cloud in the sky.
We barreled back down through Corona Heights and the Castro, up half the Dolores hills and back through the Mission. I felt strong the entire way, no Achilles pain to speak of. Quite the afternoon.