Saturday's weather was rubbish - heavy showers, grey overcast, strong winds and cold. Rather than have me moaning and drivelling around the flat all day, The Senior Partner handed me the car keys and dispatched me to Lysterfield Lake, with instructions not to come back until I'd had enough. How cool is that?
Because I was on my own, I took it easy. I started out on the complete circuit. About a mile in, the rain started. A short, heavy shower to get me drenched, then interminable grey drizzle. Lovely.
The trails were a bit slimy and greasy, with occasional patches that promise to become mud swamps. It was a bit like England in August.
As I hammered up to the competition circuit, I started to see the kangaroos. Lots of them. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon, and they were starting to begin their main afternoon nibble. The grass is exploding after the recent rain. It's a good time to be a kangaroo.
After the usual long grind up the switchbacks, I was hurtling across the long traverse at unsafe velocity when I startled one about three metres from the track. It started running alonside me. It overtook, crossed the track in front of me and went to join its friends. I may have been braking a bit, but when I looked down, the speedo still said 20mph. Those buggers can shift.
I slowed down a bit after that, although the product of heartrate and actual speed remained about constant. A couple of hundred metres on, I found myself among a group of over 20.
It was like this on all sides
A rider passed me while I was taking photos, but I caught him up and we did the Hug Trail and Blair Witch in company. When I'm out alone, I prefer to be within screaming distance of someone else.
I'd kept the pace down, owing to mud, kangaroos and being alone, so I was a bit surprised to finish the loop in 72 minutes, just three outside my record. It was still well before they close the park, so I did most of the circuit again. 21 miles in total. Then I went home and had pan-seared kangaroo fillet for supper. Really.