This morning I am sitting on the deck of our beautiful villa - Casitas Rosheli - above Los Llanos de Aridane - the finishing town of this years Transvulcania Ultra. Coffee in hand, sun on my back. It's a hard setting to beat really. To my right I can see a long rocky ridge dropping down from the Caldera - the volcanic crater that is the main feature of the island, and I'm pretty sure that it marks the descent from the course's high point. The ridge tapers down then disappears into the sea from my viewpoint - the zigzags into Tazacorte, and the site of Thursdays vertical K race. That one I will sit out - having never done a 'VK', and doubtful it's a smart move just 2 days before the ultra, but we will position ourselves on the course on Thursday and watch the stars of the ultra world race up. Perhaps if it was a 50km ultra, or if there were a few more days rest I'd give it a go, but definitely not this time - that would be a rookie error.
High off to my left I can see a cone of bare black dirt, that looks very familiar. I seem to remember a video of Sage Canaday running scared up there in last year's race, with Kilian chasing hard. The course is daunting, and the low mileage weeks of my taper do nothing to inspire physical confidence in my ability to complete the race, but I know that the nagging doubts are just a normal part of tapering before a big race, as, I hope, are the niggling pains in my calves and achilles. I've had some tightness and mild discomfort since the flight over. I hope it's a temporary issue.
This morning, we have a lazy start. We will hunt for some supplies, and likely take a drive to the centre of the island, the Caldera, and check out some of the race trails. Who knows who we will bump into - it seems like it's a 'who's who' of ultrarunning out here this week.
It's also time to get the diet back on track - stick to what's familiar and what I know works for me, though it's not always easy to find the familiar ingredients. The fruit here is incredible, but veg seems lacking. We have banana, plum and avocado trees surrounding the villa. Not bad!