Who killed Laura Palmer?

This week’s Sun­day DSE Run­ner’s club race was a four-mile loop up and around Twin Peaks. This is the first time this course has been run. The race direc­tors are doing a fan­tas­tic job of com­ing up with new routes this year rather than stick­ing to the same cal­en­dar year after year.

It was great weath­er for a run. At nine in the morn­ing when the race start­ed the sun was warm but not yet hot. I think the same route at noon would have been oppres­sive. There was a lit­tle haze in the air but it was clear enough to see down­town and the Bay on the East side and the Pacif­ic Ocean on the West. 


The route was well-planned, at least for my tastes. It both start­ed and fin­ished on a down­hill slope. If I have to choose I pre­fer to start on a down­hill so that my legs get warmed up before I have to attack the hills. Fin­ish­ing on a down­hill was a bonus. 

My shoelaces came untied twice on this race, and I had to stop to retie them. The prob­lem with stop­ping is not just that the clock is tick­ing, but that it’s hard­er to start again than it would be to just keep run­ning. But with my laces flop­ping around, I had to take care of them.

Oth­er than stop­ping to tie my shoes, I did­n’t stop run­ning the whole time. No walk breaks. That means that I was able to set a main­tain­able pace, which is a step in the right direc­tion. I’m also pleased that I I was able to keep good form. I checked my cadence at one point and it was just a lit­tle below ide­al — about 170 (run­ners, just to con­fuse things, count each foot­fall to get cadence, unlike bicy­clists who count rev­o­lu­tions of the crank). While it’s a lit­tle slow­er than ide­al, it’s close enough to 180 that I’m fine with it. I was also going uphill when I count­ed my foot­falls for 30 sec­onds to test, so I may have been mov­ing a lit­tle slow­er because of that.

At the entrance to Twin Peaks Boule­vard, a race vol­un­teer with a flag direct­ed us to make the turn. Vol­un­teers often call out encour­ag­ing words as we go past, but today’s course mon­i­tor got more spe­cif­ic with me: he said, «nice and smooth.» That is the real goal. Espe­cial­ly with the begin­nings of pain I had dur­ing Wednes­day’s run and the top-of-foot pain I’ve been expe­ri­enc­ing occa­sion­al­ly through the week, the most impor­tant thing for me is to take it smooth and not pound the pave­ment. As a result, I did not have any dis­com­fort at all (or at least no joint or bone pain—my quadri­ceps were com­plain­ing about hav­ing to work) over the whole course.

The only sur­prise was the height of the hill after turn­ing onto Claren­don. I’ve only dri­ven on Claren­don West of Twin Peaks before, so I knew that there was a hill but I was­n’t expect­ing so much of one. After com­ing down from 850 feet to 485, Claren­don was a rel­a­tive­ly steep climb (aver­age 16% grade) back up to 778 feet above sea lev­el. Going up Twin Peaks from the low point near Lagu­na Hon­da was more of an ascent, but aver­ag­ing a 5% grade.

From the top of Claren­don it was all down­hill. I tried to relax and let grav­i­ty do most of the work for me but even so I got passed by some­one who had more kick left. I crossed the fin­ish line at right about my tar­get time: 44:21 by my watch. I’d been aim­ing to fin­ish in under 45 minutes.

A suc­cess­ful morn­ing run­ning with a great group. Def­i­nite­ly worth drag­ging myself out of bed at 7am on a Sunday.