Malloy is definitely running again, but he’ll be wearing shorts

He is low in the polls, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he definitely is running again–about 25 minutes a day, five to seven times a week. The political stuff is a decision for another day.

Malloy, who turned 56 a week ago, has managed to resume an exercise routine disrupted by 24/7 campaigning last year, then a crash program of organizing a new administration and crafting his initial budget.

“I can run. I’m blessed with good knees and good hips. Not much of a brain, but good knees and good hips,” Malloy said today. “I actually feel a lot better about getting out.”

Politics has interrupted the governor’s attempts to stay fit before. He was a rugby player from 1974 to 1995, when he was elected mayor of Stamford. His wife told him he needed to make a choice, rugby or politics.

“The deal with Cathy was when I told her I wanted to run for mayor, she said, ‘Fine, but if you win ,you have to stop playing rugby.’ So that was the end of rugby. Then I got serious about running.”

The subject of Malloy’s exercise regimen came up as he helped mark the opening of a new 1.8-mile stretch of the Farmington River Trail in Canton, work completed with federal stimulus money. It was built for $900,000, less than half the original estimate.

The new segment is part of an 18.3-mile trail through Farmington, Canton and Simsbury. The river trail begins and ends at two intersections with an 11.2-mile section of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, giving cyclists a 29.5-mile loop, mainly off road.

In brief remarks, Malloy said that Connecticut’s growing network of bicycle trails, many of them on old railroad rights of way, is an important part of the state’s efforts to encourage alternative transportation and fitness.

He was joined at the ribbon cutting by Simsbury First Selectwoman Mary Glassman, who was his running mate in 2006 and in an opposing camp last year, when she joined a ticket led by Ned Lamont.

Malloy came to the opening wearing business casual – an open-collar, button down shirt and white slacks. But he declined to join Glassman and Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, who wore close fitting bike gear for a post-ceremony ride.

The governor says he owns some bicycles, which he intends to bring up from his home in Stamford.

“I have to find a bike shop in the area and get them tuned up,” Malloy said. He pointed to black state-issued sedan and said. “On top of the car, I think we can get a bike rack.”