For Memorial Day weekend, Kevin and I decided last minute to to hop a plane over to Boise, Idaho to check out the Half Ironman course and watch the Exergy Tour, a 5-stage professional women’s cycling race. The opportunity to ride the race course AND watch the best female cyclists in the world was too good to pass up.
The first day we were there, it poured. I was supposed to go on a four-hour ride and I bagged it. I have done enough long rides in the rain at home, I didn’t need to do one on vacation too. Besides, then all my stuff would be soggy for the rest of the weekend. No thanks. So, we watched the fastest ladies on two wheels time trial. It was so fascinating to watch their approach to the race. A lot of women came from overseas so it was interesting to see so many road bikes on the course too. I cheered for my favorites and really tested how waterproof my jacket really was.
The next morning was dreary, but I had to get my 4-hour ride in that I’d skipped the day before. I did the majority of the half Ironman bike course and then finished up by riding almost all the way to Idaho City, where the Exergy Tour stage was finishing that day. You can see that the day started cold and progressively got warmer by the amount of layers I shed in the photos Kevin took.
What a beautiful ride! It reminded me of my summers in Montana as a kid. Dry hillsides leading into lush valleys with a river running through it. While the race course was nice and challenging due to the wind, I wish the course was going into Idaho City. So pretty.
When I got done, I went on a short run and got done in time to watch the Exergy Tour come roaring past with 3k to go. We then enjoyed a stroll through the tiny mining town and ate some homemade huckleberry ice-cream while listening to a bluegrass band. A good day indeed.
The next day was the last stage of the Exergy Tour and was a sight to see. It was so awesome to see the big crowds, TV crews, crazy fans and general awesome professionalism come out for a women’s bike race. Kevin and I camped out near the QOM climb and near the loop the racers would do three times. We got plenty of chances to watch the ladies dig in and climb, climb, climb!
Fully inspired by their grit and tenacity, it was my turn to bust out my ‘favorite’ workout, 4×30 minutes with progressively higher wattage goals. I did it on course and I was so proud of myself for making all my goals even when the downhill sections threatened to ruin my averages. It was a great ride and gave me the boost of confidence I needed going into this race. I was ready to give qualifying for the World Championships in Las Vegas my best shot. Oh, and I ran tempo off the bike too. That hurt, but again, got. it. done!
Our last day in Boise, I had to run the entire run course. Complete disaster. I was so fatigued and my feet hurt so bad, I was near tears. This usually happens—3-4 good workouts and then one disaster. I have had such a hard time with finding the right shoes for running. I struggled through 11 miles in 2 hours and then called it a day. This isn’t the confidence booster I was looking for, but I confirmed that the run course is about as flat as one could hope for and was well shaded. I couldn’t have designed a better run course for me. I trusted that race day would go a lot better.
Thanks Exergy Tour for putting on such a great cycling event for women!! If you’d like to see more of Kevin’s awesome photography of the race, you can find it at http://tu.smugmug.com/2012Cycling/Exergy-Tour-2012