My nose, sinuses and throat have been giving me fits. Maybe it's allergies, like everyone else, even though I was trying to be different. Regardless, I finally sniffled it up and headed out for a run with Martini, the Enthusiast and Dobson at O'Neil Woods, the former farmstead of another of Akron's tire barons, William O'Neil, who founded General Tire in 1915.
The Deer Run trail is a hilly 1.8-mile loop. This was my first time running this trail and I chose to wear my hippie shoes. Martini was out to get some distance, while the Enthusiast was shooting for her first-ever trail run. I ran my first lap with the Enthusiast and Dobson and let Martini go ahead at his pace.
The trail itself is not as rough or as long as the Perkins Trail I've been running recently, but its hills are steeper and longer. In the direction we ran, the downhill was all stairs, which I found to be as unpleasant as I did the first time I dealt with stairs during my first-ever run in the huaraches.
The Enthusiast struggled some with the trails, but did a wonderful job keeping her head up and tackling those steep uphills, churning those legs against gravity. The sight of the parking lot was a welcome site after we climbed the final hill.
I barely managed to make a pit stop and grab a squirt of water before Martini came through the bushes after his second loop. He was running much faster than I anticipated and knew it would be challenge to keep good form in the hippie shoes and keep up at that pace.
My four-day layoff from running and the difficulty I had breathing was soon very evident. I started launching a barrage of snot rockets left and right. The brutal uphill was upon me too quickly. My granny gear only got me about halfway up before I had to walk the rest, which was actually faster.
We arrived back at the parking lot 14 minutes faster than my first lap. That was enough for me for one day. Martini took another lap, while I relaxed in the cool grass with the Enthusiast and Dobson.