Trail running is to road running much like jazz is to rock and roll. On the road, it’s all about the rhythm, putting one foot down and picking one foot up. Finding the groove, and just letting the road take you where it will. On the trail, though, there’s not that luxury, at least not on the rutted, rooted, and rocky trails in Connecticut.

On the trail, it’s like jazz – the smooth sections set the pace and establish the rhythm and theme (today’s was WET, but more on that later). Think Coltrane’s “Favorite Things”. Then each set of steep uphill, stretch of baby heads, stream, wooden bridge, root, etc, becomes a chance to improvise. A chance to play with rhythm, play with foot placement (maybe it’s time to go sideways), but a chance to play regardless. At the same time, the pace keeps going, the tune continues to progress, all coming back to the rhythm and theme of the run when you hit the chorus and a smooth patch of ground.

(OK, bad analogy, but it made sense on the trail)

It was Houston humid this morning. Take a drink of air humid. But, thankfully, not hot (Save that for this afternoon. But it’s August, for crying out loud, and I don’t think I’ve sweated outside except for when I’ve been running, biking, or working all summer. Man, I love New England).

Anyhow, I headed over to Pequot Woods to get in the first bit of trail running I’ve done in a while. There’s a pretty decent mile and a half or so loop there, nice hills, etc. All in all, good run.

Yesterday was another day with Christian. I really did not want to get up, but one of the advantages of having a godawful early running date is that if you do want to call and cancel, there’s an extremely angry partner at the other end who will give you an earful for making them set an alarm clock, wake up at the crack of dawn, and then get stood up. Motivating.

Downtown Newport again, same route as Tuesday, but with the added incentive of someone a block ahead of me while I headed up the Memorial Street hill. Good times.