Tonight was my first run with my new Garmin watch and heart rate monitor. I’m currently using the London Marathon website beginner 17 week training plan and this was my last run of week one. I had meant to go earlier but fell asleep soon after Mtoto had gone for his afternoon nap, only waking after he did. By then it was raining, as forecast. I wasn’t pleased when I realised this but my disgruntlement at the weather was tempered by recalling that this would be my first opportunity to use my new Garmin kit.

I ran/walked for 55 minutes with a 5 minute warm up walk, 30 minutes running, 5 minutes walking, 10 minutes more running and a final 5 minutes walk. Total distance covered: 5.58 miles. This is a good place to be right now and I decided to count it as my Janathon run for today. Counting the first 50 minutes I covered exactly 5 miles, meaning that I was on 10 minutes a mile including walking. Using the Running For Fitness marathon calculator, I came up with a time 4:48:40 to complete the marathon, averaging 11 minutes a mile. In my head I would like to hit 4:22 and therefore complete at 10 minutes per mile, but I would very happily settle for 4:48:40 to complete my first marathon and be injury-free.

Tonight I ran along the lake from Eaux-Vives towards Vesenaz. I got as far as the beginning of the hill on Route de Thonon before turning back and eventually wiggling through Eaux-Vives to use up a few more minutes that I had. I like this part of the lake, it is relatively quiet as there are practically no tourists there and apart from the general hum of traffic from the dual carriage way a couple of yards away and the occasional other runner I like to think that I’m completely alone.

As well as the training run, we also had our annual New Year’s Walk today. It was our eighth year in a row, but our first in Geneva. Three other families came out, being another seven adults and two children. I called it the Heron Walk, since I was about certain as I could be that we would see at least one heron and most people, though perhaps not the toddler who slept almost all the way round. We took the “A” bus from Geneva to Carre-d’Amont and then walked a circuit round to Meinier. The distance was 5.47km in 1:44:19. Highlights included the toddlers dancing on ice and watching a great egret and a kestrel in a tree together.

18. Teal

19. Great Egret

20. Kestrel

21. Jay

22. Moorhen

23. Greater spotted woodpecker

After the walk several of our friends came back to ours for lunch. I enjoyed their company and the opportunity to share my favourite beer and wine of the moment with them, as well as our homemade mince pies. The beer is Murailles from Meinier and the wine is the merlot from Le Clos de Celigny, which, coincidentally, has a greater spotted woodpecker on the label. The only downside being that we’re now out of beer and we’ve hardly got any wine left.

Clos de Celigny's lovely Merlot

Clos de Celigny’s lovely Merlot. Photo: Clos de Celigny