Hello again!  My family was on a camping trip to the Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee) this past week, so no workout post from last week.  I’m sure it was pretty epic though, whatever happened back then. Haha

But let’s talk about this past week on vacation!  I actually did get some running and biking done, even though it didn’t match my plan one bit.  I did spend a lot of time hiking this week! In fact, my calves were so tight from all of the hiking that I could barely walk when I woke up in the mornings!!  Luckily that went away after a few days.

  • Running: 25.5 miles
  • Hiking: 37 miles
  • Biking: 15.7 miles

Home sweet home for the past week!

I think one of the great things about being a runner is going out to explore a new place on foot.  My husband and I both have learned so much about a vacation destination by the things we see in the early morning on a run.  Here’s what happened (brief version!) in my past week:

Sunday – Biking: 4.7 miles, Hiking:  (Cucumber Gap 6.5 miles, Laurel Falls 3.25 miles)

I biked in the morning before my family woke up.  I was very interested in checking out the Cades Cove loop, which was right outside our campground.  The whole loop is 11 miles, so I just rode on part of it. This beautiful view lured me out there!

Our first hike was on the Cucumber Gap trail.  It started out uphill and turned a little challenging, but ended as a ramble along the river.

Our second hike was a popular hike to Laurel Falls.  It was an easy hike and we saw lots of families on it. My tired feet got a nice treat at the falls.

Monday – Running: 3.5 miles, Hiking:  (Rainbow Falls 6.5 miles) On my run a passed a few wild turkeys who gave me a show!

We hiked to Rainbow Falls, which was a challenging hike, but the well worth it!

We totally look like pros with our hiking poles from Zion trip.

Tuesday – Running: 5 easy miles.  Hiking: (AT 8.5 miles, 1.4 miles Clingmans dome) Another run while my family was sleeping.  It helps that I just naturally wake up by 6:50am every day 🙂 There was water to cross on my run and I had to figure out the best choice… 1) get my shoes soaked, 2) try the stepping stones, which seemed slippery, or 3) take off shoes and wade through.  Choice 3 was the winner!

This was our BIG day of hiking.  First we checked out Clingmans Dome.  This would be a great view when it’s clear… but it was quite foggy (smoky!) instead.

We hiked 8.5 miles on the Appalachian Trail.  Our destination was “Charlie’s Bunion”. It had amazing views!!

We met people along the way who were on multi-day hikes on the AT and were hiking sections of the AT to reach a goal of hiking the whole thing.  They said their 30 lbs backpacks were considered light. Dang!

Wednesday – Biking: 11 miles around the Cades Cove loop.  The Cades Cove loop is only open to bikes and people walking, so it was a great opportunity to stop at the historical buildings and not worry about traffic.  

And guess what… we saw a bear in the field!

Thursday – Hiking:  (Abrams Falls 6.25 miles & Schoolhouse Gap 4.5 miles)  This was a rainy day, but we still went on two hikes. Abrams Falls had a lot of water rushing through it.

The Schoolhouse Gap was not as impressive, but overall I have been super impressed that my kids like to hike so much!!

Friday – Rest day!  Airing out our stinky hiking shoes 🙂

Saturday – Running: 7 miles.  Since I was up before my family, I decided to go for a run, and had some extra time.  I checked out all of the loops in the campground. I was surprised to learn that each loop went downhill, so I was either climbing up the street, or running downhill.  Much hillier than I expected.

Spent the rest of the day walking around Kings Island amusement park! They had a cool fireworks show.

Sunday –  10 miles, long run.  My plan said 13 miles for this week’s long run, but since my run included uphill/downhill continuously, I figured 10 miles was plenty!  It was also raining, so I give myself double stars for getting this run done. I ran using my heart rate, and just tried to keep it around 150.  My average ended up being 156 average HR, and avg pace of 9:48, which I think is right where it needed to be.

I’m guessing my camping neighbors thought I was quite crazy running around the park in the rain!  I was totally irked that two loose dogs came out following me and barking at me (separate incidents).  Please people, be mindful of people who are afraid of dogs and keep your dogs in your OWN campsite!!

And that’s a wrap on my vacation week.  I’ll have a big recap of hikes in the Smoky Mountains, so stop back to visit again.  I was so excited to see baby bears on our trip!

Need some more inspiration? I’m linking up with Deborah at Confessions of a Mother Runner and Kim from Running on the Fly for their Weekly Run Down. Check out all of the fun blogs there!

Q:  Have you ever hiked the Appalachian Trail, or have it on your bucket list?

Q:  Do you tend to wake up at a certain time without an alarm clock (on the weekend or on vacation)?

Q: Have you ever been to the Smoky Mountains?

22 thoughts on “Weekly workouts – Smokies edition”
  1. I was running yesterday and a woman had her pitbull off leash at on the path! WTH? I’m glad the dog wasn’t interested in me. I don’t understand people who walk their dogs off leash or let their dogs run loose. Glad those dogs left you alone.

    Your trip looks amazing! I have never been to the Great Smoky Mts and I’d love to see it. Your hike on the AT looks so cool. Another trip on my bucket list…

    1. The people with the dogs didn’t really even make an effort to stop their dogs either. I think a lot of people assume people are comfortable with dogs… but I’m just not! 🙁

  2. Those photos from your trip are breathtaking!

    One of my biggest pet peeves is people that do not leash their dogs. I love dogs and all but you just never know when you’ll come across an aggressive one – they should always be leashed!

  3. WoW! Now that’s an adventure! I’m not a camper, but I could handle a hotel stay with daily trips out to a hiking site 😉 Awesome pics!! Thanks for joining us on the WRD, Lisa!

  4. Lovely pictures, what a great week! I naturally wake up between 5.30 and 6.00 and I’d like that to be a bit later but it’s been like that all my life. Bad at the moment with the light mornings …

  5. WOW. What a gorgeous area. Never been to the Smokeys, but it’s on my list
    I’ve turned into a wake before my alarm person. Still not sure who I am or how long it will last, but I’m appreciating it while it does
    I’m with Kim – not a camper but I’d love to be in that kind of area

  6. Wow, that’s a super active week! I’m impressed, I usually just sub hiking for running on vacations. I tend to wake up with the sun whether I want to or not…currently not, since it starts getting light around 5 am.

    1. I probably would have swapped out some running if I could have slept a little later like my family did… but then again, I would have missed out on those beautiful sights so I’m not sad about it 🙂

  7. Wow! Your hiking and running totals are impressive, especially for a week of vacation. You had a beautiful spot to get out and hike/run! Not a camper, but our family has visited the Great Smokey Mtn. National Park twice and loved it both times.
    Laurie recently posted…Learning How to BounceMy Profile

  8. What a busy week for you with all of that hiking! You took some great pictures with awesome views.

    I don’t understand people that don’t leash their dogs. I was out on a run this past week and came across a big dog. I stopped. The owner told me “He is just a big puppy.” WTH?!?!? I don’t care if he is big or small. Put that dog on a leash!!!

    1. I was a bit bummed I forgot to take along my big camera (DSLR). I didn’t even think about it! I could have got some great pictures of bears, instead of the black blobs I got from my iPhone.

  9. My husband, 6 year old and I had a great time hiking to Laurel Falls! It was an easy hike and really fun to get into the falls once we arrived. We began at 5PM in September to avoid the crowds, it was approximately 40 minutes each way. Beautiful views through the forest and overlooking the gorgeous Smokies. Will definitely be back! (Note: I saw families with strollers but it looked difficult to manage, there are several uneven parts of the path).
    Yolanda recently posted…Best Budget Hiking Pants of 2019My Profile

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