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!
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?