With only 11 weeks left until the 2015 London Marathon, I took off yesterday on my first long training run. I was supposed to run 10 miles. If I was sensible about it, I would have run exactly 5 miles and then run the same way home again. But it didn’t work like that in my mind. Instead I started thinking about where I would like to go (Sionnet Marshes) and I set off. But I didn’t go straight there, oh no. Instead, I decided to run through the village of Cologny and up a steep hill, Chemin des Ruelles, which I usually enjoy walking down. There are some interesting flat-roofed houses off this street, including one with some intriguing art in the garden. Cologny and other surrounding villages have been dubbed Geneva’s Beverly Hills and in recent years wealthy Russians, Kazakhs and Uzbeks have been moving in.

From Cologny to Vandoeuvres, another village with lots of private-gated homes, across the fields to Choulex and finally over to Sionnet Marshes. Along the way I saw woodpeckers, Blackbirds, tits, Robins, sparrows and some wonderful treecerepers. I didn’t go right through Sionnet, as I was getting cold and I was over 5 miles out, but I decided to run homeward along the Seymaz river. We’ve often seen Kingfishers along here, but in the gloom I mostly saw Moorhens and Mallards. And then, for one glorious moment, I came across a treecreeper, at about my waist height, which didn’t move from the tree by the path until I was almost upon it. I could have reached out and touched it. And then it flew. Time went from slow motion to normal speed again. I followed the Seymaz all the way to Chene and by then was getting a bit too cold.

Finally, one hour and fifty-one minutes and thirty-eight seconds after setting off, I was 11.45 miles down the road, but best of all I was home. Some chocolate and a quick bath later, I was off out again to the pub to see some friends and catch the end of the France – Scotland rugby game.

My pace in the run was an average of 9:45 minutes per mile. Still a bit faster than my intended race day pace. I’ll be using my next few runs to try and slow down some more and take it really easy. But the main message I took from the run was that my knees are okay and the ice skating injury wasn’t so bad. Although I’ve not been running as much as I should, by not running when my legs were sore, I’ve been looking after them. Hopefully the break will stand me in good stead in the rest of my training programme.