Elisa and I ran this trail probably 2 weeks before my 50k. This trail run ended up being a lot more hiking than running. However, I think it ended up being good preparation! With over 4,000 feet of elevation gain, there were some good, steep sections of climbing. It also allowed for a lot downhill. Meaning, getting those legs used to rolling, feeling the impact and dodging stones.
It was warm at the start, however, once we got to the highest point, we realized we were severely underdressed compared to everyone else (donning full pants, jackets, etc. while I was merely wearing a tank and shorts). Our favorite part of any trail run are the breaks at the top (to eat our PB&J sandwiches, always). However, after we scarfed down our snacks, we were quickly on our way, experiencing huge goosebumps from the settled sweat and cool breeze.
We ended up running all the way down. I don’t think I’ve been this sore in a long time! This run definitely took a toll on my calves on the uphill, and for sure my quads on the downhill.
El Cajon Mountain in the El Capitan Open Preserve
Entrance: 12777 Wildcat Canyon Rd, Lakeside, CA 92040
Route: Begin at the staging area just off Wildcat Canyon Road and walk .5 mile uphill to the proper trailhead. Continue along the main trail to the summit.
Miles: 11 miles