June 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Ironman World Championship Nice 2023: Part 6

The jogging path along the Bronx River.
(Credit: David Roher)

45 Days to go (July 27)

Now that I had solved four pressing issues related to the race, it was time to address the new problem; my body was in rebellion.

(Sounds more like it was falling apart.)

I do like to say that my body is a temple … ancient and crumbling. The reality was that I didn’t injure myself, but I was on the way to that place. I had a tight hamstring.

The hamstring is a group of muscles that run from your hips to your knees, on the back of your thighs.

(How could you be so sure that this was the issue?)

I was 99% sure. It’s been a problem before.

(So, did you stop training to let your body heal?)

No time … besides, I haven’t taken a rest day in over three years.

(Hmm … maybe that’s why your hamstring was aching.)

The 10 miler along the Bronx River.
(Credit: David Roher)

No, in the 12 months of my training, the volume goes from 30 minutes of cardio a day the week after an Ironman to 30 hours of cardio weeks before an Ironman.

(But Shabbos?)

If I push my dad to shul in a wheelchair, I count that as a workout. Otherwise, there’s a walk on Shabbos or an indoor ride right after.

The PT confirmed my suspicions and began his medieval remedies right away.

(Lots of stretching?)

Mostly, but he also hooked up electrodes to my body.

(I’m picturing Frankenstein.)

Frankenstein was the doctor.

(OK, Frankenstein’s monster.)

Regardless of how it looked, I noticed a difference right away.

(Doesn’t it take weeks for PT to work?)

It all depends on how “out of sorts” your body is. Post surgery? Yeah, that’s six-12 weeks. But I called the PT as soon as I noticed a flare up. This prevented a small problem becoming a big problem.

I had the nearly impossible task of gearing up for another Ironman while rehabbing my hamstring. I was coming off an Ironman and that meant that I still had most of my endurance. The key was to get the rest of it back without causing more harm to my body.

I was teaching summer school at White Plains High School, so I didn’t have all day to train.

But I could train before work and shower at my parents’ house, just a five-minute drive from work.

(Just how much running did you need to do?)

I had six weeks to the race, which was four weeks of training since the last 10 days are what we call taper, the time where the body starts to rest. I started with a “let’s see how this goes” run before work and found that 10 miles felt comfortable.

Me, my PT and electronic stimulation of my hamstring. (Credit: David Roher)

(OK, not bad. Did you run your local high school track?)

No, I parked at my parents’ at 5 a.m. and ran to the next town and back. There’s a jogging path that follows the Bronx River from Scarsdale, north to White Plains.

Most of the path is tree lined and the color green fills your eyes. My ears were filled with the sounds of nature. Some of which I could identify…

(Birds chirping, the Bronx River flowing…)

Others, not from nature…

(The Metro North train, cars on the Bronx River Parkway…)

And the occasional that I could not identify…

(But you were alone in the woods…)

And I did not stop to see what that noise was. Mind you that 5 a.m. in July is an unbelievably humid time of year. I was drinking water and ingesting salt like mad. The Bronx River jogging path is beautiful and quiet and has very few places to refill a water bottle.

(The Bronx River?)

Oh, it’s beautiful too, but probably not safe for human consumption. At the end of the workout, I didn’t know if I wanted to throw away my running clothing or just burn them. I was soaked through and no one in my family wanted me anywhere near them until after I took a shower.

(Just another reason to be grateful that your wife hugs you at the end of each Ironman race.)

So, on Sunday, I kicked it up to 15 miles of running and reported zero problems.

(Hamstring behaving?)

So far so good … but my other concern was my mental state.

(That has been the concern of many for some time.)


David Roher is a USAT certified triathlon and marathon coach. He is a multi-Ironman finisher and veteran special education teacher. He is on Instagram @David Roher140.6. He can be reached at [email protected].

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