West Sedona Road/Trail Run
Mileage - 16
Time - 2:00
After exploring a few options, I revisited the Bear Mountain Trailhead to begin today's long run. The plan was to complete a 16-mile run and spend as much time off of the pavement as possible. Brittney rode along for a few miles on a mountain bike that I borrowed and carried my handheld bottles. After a few miles on FR 152, the surface became too rough and she could no longer keep up with my pace so I ran solo for a while. I reached the Palatki ruins and turned around, heading back to the car. When I arrived I grabbed another gel and water bottle and hit the trails with a little over seven miles to go to reach the hotel.
From the Fay Canyon Trailhead (approximately 0.5 miles from Bear Canyon), I followed a network of new trails including Cockscomb, Dawa, OK, Arizona Cypress, Snake, and Girdner to reach Dry Creek Road leading down into town. The moderate elevation change allowed me to maintain a steady pace throughout the entire run, though I really think a 7:33/mile pace was a little faster than I should have been running. I'm not going to lie, those 16 miles felt pretty labored. The important thing was spending more time on my feet than I have in the previous three months, and what better way to do that than a run in red rock country!