I've been itching to run longer for the past several months, ever since I completed the Flagstaff Fearsome 4 FKT on Thanksgiving. The day after that run, I woke up to more than the usual run soreness. Turns out I've got a pinched nerve, and it is taking a long time to improve (even with help from a PT doc).
Weirdly, it hurts more when I walk (especially uphill), while running has mostly been OK all along, as long as I don't overdo it. The definition of "too much" is a fluid thing, thankfully with an upper limit that seems to be increasing all the time.
So when I saw that someone named Jeff has created a similar - and helpfully not nearly as long or tall - 4-peaks FKT route in Phoenix, I started thinking I should at least try it. If nothing else, it would be a good training day and a reset on my "what is currently possible" thinking.
John was happy to play along - thank you John! We did some orienteering on Saturday and then got up early on Sunday to start before dawn and try to avoid a bit of afternoon warmth.
Which was a good plan, because, wow, is that Echo Canyon trailhead ever popular! Crazy numbers of people already there when we arrived around 5:15 am, and a line of cars backed up waiting for parking spots when we left. Normally I try to follow all the rules about open/closing times for parking lots and trails, but I didn't find the "closed from sunset to sunrise" info online, it appears that zero people are paying attention to it, and if you did you would have trouble getting on the trail in the first place.
My first time at Camelback Mountain, looking forward to seeing this iconic trail: