One day, I took my 325 pound couch potato self to Disneyland for a vacation. It was around Christmas time in 2009 and I wanted to show the family a good time. Then, the unthinkable happened. My world came crashing down as I was kicked off of a ride in front of everyone because I was too big to fit in the seat. It was humiliating, embarrassing and unexpected. But, it changed my life.

I realized that my life needed to change. I also realized that I have missed out on so much in my own life because I never took control of my health. I missed out on serving in the military because I was too big, I missed becoming a police officer because I was too out of shape, and I missed achieving some of the dreams in my life.

Not any more. I threw away the fear of failure and dared to do something impossible. In one year, I lost over 100 pounds and did something that I never thought I could do – I ran a marathon. I achieved the impossible and it was the most amazing thing ever.

The next year, I traveled the country, seeing new cities 26.2 miles at a time on a marathon tour, all while training for the impossible - the title of IRONMAN!

On June 24, 2012, I crossed the Ironman finish line in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, listening to Mike Reilly announce me as an Ironman, after a long day and 140.6 miles.

I am continuing on my journey, getting through the ups and downs of maintaining a new, fit lifestyle. Life is good, and I want to live it to the fullest.

This blog celebrates our ability to achieve things that seem impossible.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The importance of sleep

Rest is one of the most important things during training.  Without properly resting, you do not perform anywhere near your potential.  Getting enough sleep is by far the most important form of rest and something that should not be neglected.  However, as the first race day approaches, I find myself facing an unanticipated problem.  The excitement and anticipation of the upcoming race is causing me to not be able to fall asleep or stay asleep at night.  Thinking ahead to the race, I know I will be traveling the day before and staying in a hotel in San Jose, so I assume the pre-race anticipation will only be growing from this point out.

So, the post today has a question:  How do you get a good night's sleep before a big event?

I want to get good sleep this week.  I am not a fan of sleep aid pills, so please don't suggest those, but if you have any other tips or tricks to get past the anticipation of something big in order to get a good nights sleep I would love to hear it.


  1. I've found going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier each day isn't too tough. By the end of the week, prior to race day, its not such a shock to my system to go to bed an hour or two earlier than I might normally. Even still, I've given up on getting a good night of sleep the night before...too anxious, excited, whatever it is. Don't stress over it if you're lying there in the middle of the night wide awake. Good luck this week!


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  3. Sleeping meds don't work for me for two reasons:

    First, I have a general anti-medication approach to life. I try to avoid taking pills when I can help it.

    Second, an perhaps most important here, any sleeping medication leave me all dazed and groggy the next day. Not how I want to be for the race.

  4. NO SLEEPING MEDS!!! Stay away from those, they're addictive and not needed. A healthy diet and exercise are the ways to deal with sleep problems.
    As far as ideas, I haven't had a lot of problems sleeping leading up to a race, but I think it's natural to have some issues the night before--especially if you're travelling and staying in a hotel the night before. Sorry Traveler, but late night cardio is a BAD idea too--especially the night before a race. Stick to the training program you're following. Watch your diet--avoid anything new, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. If you go out to dinner, be careful with what you order--keep it simple and avoid anything too spicy or exotic and avoid alcohol or at least keep it to one glass of wine, and drink at least as much water. Don't eat a lot, avoid caffeine other than if you normally drink it earlier in the day (i.e. a cup of coffee at breakfast). When you check into the hotel and pick up your race packet, lay everything out as soon as possible--ideally before dinner. Your shoes, socks, shorts, everything. Pin your race number on your shirt, etc. Do it all the day before as early as possible and get it all situated so you KNOW you ARE ready. Then go out for a nice dinner with your wife and relax, enjoy yourself--focus on you and her and enjoy your time. Don't think about the race or talk about it too much. Relax. When you get back to the hotel, look at your pile of stuff once more and make sure it's all there. Set your alarm clock AND call the front desk to give you a wake up call; that way you won't worry as much about sleeping in. Set your alarm early enough to give yourself an extra 30-60 minutes in the morning than what you think you need. That way, you won't worry as much while you're trying to sleep. The day of the race / event, you'll find that time will fly--that extra 30-60 minutes will seem like nothing and will be well worth it.
    Good luck--based upon where you're at, I think you're going to have a great experience. Just stick as close to possible to your training program. If you wear a heart rate monitor and watch your pace (i.e. a gps watch), keep those in the same range as when you were training--don't go too far under or over your training pace. You can always turn on the after burner late in the race, but don't burn up the first mile or two--slow and steady! If you listen to music when you train, be sure to wear your headphones at least until you're through the first half or until mile 8 or 10. You're going to do great, there's no need to stress but it's good to be excited--just channel that energy positively.