Today we decided to go ride the prairie of Colorado, parking our car at the entrance of Aurora Reservoir where we do our open-water swims, and hopping on the bikes. Riding the prairie gives you a lot of different ride conditions. It's hot, there's very little shade, generally breezy, rolling hills, and little traffic. There's also very little bike congestion, allowing you to stay in a groove. It's a great place to train...and also very taxing mentally.
When you're riding away from the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is actually a very bland/blah state. People think of Colorado as all pretty and scenic. Yeah, go 15 miles east of Denver and it's as boring as Nebraska/Iowa/Kansas/most of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Mile after mile, the road just stretches. It's very tough mentally. And solitary.
Let me just say that while I'm progressing nicely as an athlete right now, I still have a loooooooong way to go. The rollers were very difficult today, my climbing was inefficient and my mental capacity broke down. From what I hear, the IMAZ course is pretty boring, so to have to do that 3 times will be an extreme challenge mentally. I know I'm up to the task, but I have to train my mind. It's easy to do the Platte River Trail, where there's a lot of people and things to see. The prairie? Not so much. So I think you know where I need to be. :-)