A Day With Le Tour De France

As a Canadian from Ottawa and an IBMer living in Paris, France, I sometimes get these rare moments to participate in phenomenal events due to IBM's global partnerships and relationships. Earlier this year I had the privilege to follow the Paris Marathon in a VIP car and watch the elite runners finish the race in the VIP section. It was a real privilege. All this thanks to Schneider Electric who is the primary sponsor of the Paris Marathon and a huge IBM partner. Through this event I forged a strong relationship with the overall IBM partner managing director, Tony Despirito. To my surprise a few weeks after the Paris marathon I got an email from Tony inviting me to ride a stage of the Tour and watch the stage sprint in the VIP finish line area. Of course, I had to say yes and I responded within minutes.

As Schneider is the main sponsor of the Paris Marathon, an event owned by ASO, the company that puts on Le Tour, Schneider Electric gets the ability to invite a few key partners to …

Paleo Babies

I'm only writing this blog as I recently listened to a "That Paleo Show" podcast with Charlotte Carr, author of a new Paleo diet book for babies called "The Paleo Way, for New Mums, Babies and Toddlers". You can find out more about her book and Paleo approach at
Charlotte's story reminded me of my first few years as a baby. Like her, my parents struggled for months… nearly 18 months to figure out what was wrong with me and I almost died several times spending weeks in the hospital on several occasions.  Eventually they found a diet that worked for me. It consisted of beef kidney and liver milk for formula and once I was good with solids I could only eat minced roast beef, carrots and apple sauce. Back in the early 70s doctors also put me on allergy shots for several years. I'm so grateful my parents persevered and I'm positive they never labelled it Paleo… back in the early 1970s.
I've been an athlete most of my life…

Trail Running in and around Paris

Last year I moved to Paris with my family to pursue a different career direction... but that's not the point of this post.
I quickly discovered the trail running scene is huge in France. One can run a trail race or a trail ultra almost every weekend within 1-3 hours of Paris. Here is a link to a great site that lists all the races around Paris.
I had the privilege of doing two trail races this year: - EcoTrail de Paris - I did the 30KM trail race with 500M of climbing. The race starts in the Meudon forest on the south west side of Paris and winds it way across the forest with intense climbing and descending through beautiful trails while crossing amazing chateaus and gardens for the first 20km. The last 10km is a straight line along the Seine ending at the base of the Eiffel Tower. I had a great time and truly enjoyed the spirit of the race. If you entered the 80KM version of the race the finish line was on …

Osteopenia and Running

I am not a great athlete, just someone who is consistently active...  And has been so most of my life. A few years ago I discovered I have osteopenia... After suddenly going through a period of dealing with fractures, stress fractures and stress reactions. I also discovered I had really low vitamin D despite taking 1000ius per day. Being male and in my 40s my doctors were surprised. I've always had a pretty clean diet with no sodas, very low sugar, and lots of vegetables. Also being tall and light doesn't help. However, since my teens I've been dealing with acid reflux and have been on and off acid reducing prescription drugs. A side effect of the drugs is lower bone mineral density.  Once I discovered I had osteopenia I dropped the drugs and got more aggressive on changing my diet. As of late I am also off gluten and it has made a huge difference to my acid reflux. On the positive side, I am also back to running without fractures. All of 2014 was focused on building the b…
Here is a great video on how we can all live a more healthy lifestyle... more easily. Thanks to Shirley Bittner for posting this video on her Facebook page. I would not have discovered it otherwise.

Ultra Running Movies and Reviews

Over the past few weeks I watched several ultra running movies. You can find a list of great running movies at this site. are the movies I had the privilege to watch:
"Dancing the Bear":
"Running the Sahara":
"Running America":
"IL Corridore":
"A Lecture on Ultra Running by Michael Arnstein"
"Unbreakable""Dancing the Bear"
I watched this movie for the first time in 2009. It is a movie that chronicles a number of runners as the prepare for and run the Bear 100 in Utah and Idaho It was a good motivationa…

Hypothermic Half Marathon

Well, it's Sunday night and I'm pretty slammed right now from a tough week, a restless and sleepless Saturday night, and challenging half-marathon this morning.

The half-marathon's objective wasn't clear... make it a training run or make it a race. It turned into a lot more than just a training run. It became a mental challenge. Yesterday, I did a 31km x-country ski in the -20C weather with bitterly cold windchill rated at -36C. It was an exhausting ski outing where my HRM said I burned about 2000 calories in the 3 hours. I was close to bonking.

Then for some reason last night I could barely sleep, my daughter was sick and when I did fall asleep I'd wake up again minutes later. A combination of a sick daughter, nerves about the half-marathon and worries that I'd overdone it during the day were only compounding with the lack of sleep.

By morning I was a mess but persevered to drag myself to the start line and do the race. It was another cold morning at -16C, but lu…

Running the Sahara

I recently ordered the Running the Sahara documentary DVD of Ray Zahab, Kevin Lim, and Charlie Engle running the 4500 miles across the Sahara desert from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. I finally watched the DVD over the Christmas holidays. It's an amazing story of three tough as nail guys who ran nearly 80km and sometime more per day over 111 days. To put that into perspective that is two marathons per day. They each went through 100 pairs of shoes. Kevin's shoe size went from a 7.5 to an 8 as his feet swelled from the heat and running.

I enjoyed the movie and was inspired by each of them. Charlie the drill seargeant is a guy one may hate in the moment but realize later that his enthusiasm, drive, and how hard he pushes people only makes them better. I completely agreed with the situations that pissed him off and I would be equally pissed... but perhasp not express it the way he did. Charlie and I have a similar history. I just managed to avoid the drugs and found an addict…