Camping, Trail Hiking and Running, Oh My!

This past week I spent in the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina camping and I had an awesome time (minus the no showers part). Now, coming from Florida I’m used to sea level breathing and hills are nowhere to be found so when I went for a run and saw how steep the hills were on top of the whole “I can’t breathe because I’m so high up” thing, I was prettttyyyy skeptical.

We stayed at Smokemont Campground which was absolutely beautiful and the mountains surrounding us with the river rushing in the distance was such a cool change.

Now, running. These hills were killer. No joke, but offered such great views.

And that was within the first two miles. Absolutely spectacular.
I was only able to do about 4 miles the first day, went on a 6 mile hike the next day, and a quick 2 mile jog the day after but I felt like it was kicking my butt.

And here’s why. Uphill training, hill repeats, trail running all torch calories while working muscle groups that don’t get used to that extreme every day. My calves and the front my thighs were on fire on the way up but on the way down, it was totally shins and glutes taking the brunt of it.

There’s an awesome article from Runner’s World that articulates what I’m trying to explain here. (I swear they have an article for everything!)

On another note, I noticed that I reverted to my old shoes when I was running up there. Normally, I wear Asics Gel Noosa’s and I LOVE THEM. Here’s what they look like:

Beastly, right? 🙂

But my old shoes, which I’ve worn for about two years are also Asics and they’re supposed to look like this:

Except they’re completely covered in dirt and worn down like no other, but I love them. And I just can’t seem to let them go. So I have a dilemna, should I run in my new shoes to break them in properly so I can love them like I do my blue ones or just buy another pair of the GT’s and start fresh with a shoe I love?

As I’ve mentioned previously, I have an ankle injury that I graciously acquired while running the Women’s Half Marathon last year around mile 9 that just doesn’t want to go away, so I run with an ankle brace all the time as a precaution but I’m wondering, will it cause the ankle to become dependent on a brace while running or is it helping?

I’ve read, “If you are using your ankle brace as a preventative device, then you will want to wear your brace while performing any activity that exposes your ankle to any lateral movements such as tennis, basketball, volleyball, etc…

If you are using your ankle brace as a rehabilitative or treatment device you should wear your brace while performing any daily activities to provide more stability and prevent re-injury.” from these guys.

And I’ve also read, “Can wearing ankle braces or wrapping, taping your ankle actually cause knee pain or lead to a serious knee injury like an ACL tear? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Most of us are told that these things protect your ankles. And the answer is that they do help protect against ankle sprains while you are wearing them. But, in the long run, they are making your ankles weaker, slowing you down and worst of all, setting you up for a serious knee injury.” From these guys.

So whose right? That’s up to you. I believe it’s personal preference, but hey, what does a silly girl who runs 5 times a week know? 🙂

Note: I updated my training log and you can visit it by clicking this!




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About wayfaringbridges

I'm Stephanee. I'm 26, a former travel agent who got tired of selling trips to others and decided to start taking trips of my own. I'm traveling as far and as often as I can.

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