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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Ironman World Championship Nice 2023: Part 8

Biking in my house while the deer graze. (Credit: David Roher)

25 Days To Go (August 13)

With three and a half weeks until the Ironman World Championships, I had the second benchmark approaching fast.


I had set two events as indicators to see if I was ready for the Ironman World Championships.

(But you had paid for the trip, you were going either way.)

Yes, but I take nothing for granted. I was going to use the half Ironman in Canada as a way to check that, in the words of the Apollo astronauts, “All systems were a go.”

(The last thing you wanted was to get to Nice, France and find that you forgot to pack something.)

How prophetic that would prove.

The first thing I did was confirm our seats on the flight to Nice.

(Nothing like waiting until the last minute.)

Had I been awarded this spot six months or a year earlier I’m sure that I would have paid half of what I paid for these tickets, but there lies my mindset.

This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I wasn’t going to worry about the cost.

I needed to focus on the job ahead; use the half Ironman as an opportunity to test out new ideas and relax as much as possible.

(Do you know how to relax? I’ve read your column; I don’t think that word means what you think it means.)

Notice the green bike trainer holding the back tire of my bike. This was from a 3 a.m. “trainer” ride. (Credit: David Roher)

I do and you need to know I will notice when you quote “The Princess Bride” movie. So, let’s make a list.

(You’re a teacher, you guys are good at making lists.)

  1. Pay the price, but don’t count the cost.
  2. Test out new ideas.
  3. Relax.

(Your response, now that you have quoted the Canadian band, RUSH.)

  1. We now had the flights, we had the hotel, we had Randy Jerome as our transport to and from Newark Airport. I wasn’t going to worry about the cost, I was going to focus on any last-minute incidentals. When you are OCD, you…


I have a habit in times of stress to distract myself with an obsession that causes me to not pay attention to the important things I have to tackle.


Like a packing list for the trip or taking groceries out of the car or…

(A deadline for The Jewish Link?)

No, those I always have as my 5 p.m. Monday clock ticking in my head. But I may forget to charge my Garmin watch that tracks my workouts or the bike computer that gives me my cycling data.

(So, how do you stay on top of teaching, coaching, training, writing and staying married?)

I make lists and I include my wife in what I am planning. There’s no “I” in team…

(There’s an “I” in Ironman!)

Too many Ironman triathletes ruin their marriages and/or their children’s lives by focusing on the race, not the humans who love them.

(You’ve never done that, have you?)

I just told you I have OCD. Ten years ago, I started down that path and my wife Janet helped me to find a balance.

(So, the real cost isn’t dollars?)

No, this time I was talking about dollars. Instead of worrying about how I was going to pay for the trip, I focused on how I was going to give my family and myself the best experience we had ever had.

  1. There weren’t many “new ideas” left to test out after 10 Ironman triathlons in 12 years. When I started this Ironman journey in 2009, there was no way I was going to sit on my bike, inside my house.


Now I love it.

(It sounds so boring.)

I’m in a climate-controlled room, with Netflix and a view.

(Of the deer in your backyard?)

And I don’t have to worry about traffic.

Most importantly, I could train for the 13 mile climb of the Ironman World Championships.

(How does one train to climb mountains, sitting on your bike inside your house?)

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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