Oh-Dark Thirty...

My day started off about as early as I can handle, yet I have plenty of energy to sit awake and type all about it now. That's rare for me. I'm usually exhausted by bedtime. Not tonight.

For a change, I awoke ahead of Bam-Bam, meaning 5:30 a.m. I promised my Fortius teammate and friend, Lisa, that I'd do my swim time trial with her. And I really didn't want to flake. Considering it wasn't raining (yet), I had no excuse.
Surprisingly, swimming smoothly as the sky silently becomes light is a beautiful way to wake up. I think I may do it more often. There's something calming about the teal pool water being lit from below while the sky turns from black, to gray, to purple, to blue. All while the steam from below and fog from above swirl together in a hazy mating ritual.
The time trial itself demonstrated one thing and one thing only: If nothing else, I am consistent in the pool right now. Five weeks ago, I swam 1,000 yards in 20:50. Today, I swam 1,000 yards in 20:50. What are the chances of that happening? Probably pretty good for a guy who knows just when to call California Chicken Cafe in Encino when driving from Burbank to pick up my food just as I walk inside the restaurant. When it comes to timing, I have a tendency to operate like clockwork.
But what does this mean? Why didn't I see improvement in five weeks? Or didn't I? I was able to negative split my swim, so the second 500 yards was faster than the first. This didn't happen my first time, but I was only off by two seconds then. This time, it was a bit more pronounced. Is that progress?
Or is progress measured by feeling comfortable in the water? By feeling strong enough to even consider a negative split at the 500-yard mark?
Is progress measured not in seconds but rather by swimming smarter right now, not harder?
I would like to think so.
The rest of the day and evening has been a blur. More to report than I have time to share. Among the highlights, I had a contractor visit my condo to write an estimate for sound-proofing the ceiling. Wow. For the estimated price of remodeling my kitchen, I can have an insulated condo -- with no full guarantee it will eliminate the noise problem. A sizable noise problem, according to the contractor. Further, I got into a nice, heated confrontation with Trudy via phone because the contractor asked me to inquire if her hardwood floors had cork insulation (they do).
We had what some might call a failure to communicate.
Fortunately, the Fortius group brought me back to my Happy Place(TM). We had a group yoga session tonight at Topham Street Gym. It was nice to see everyone in non-cycling, non-running or non-swimming attire. We looked, well, normal! The session was intense but not overpowering. A good precursor to my time-trial run tomorrow a.m.
After the run, the group went for vegan Vietnamese food in Reseda. I was hesitant at first because after my awful-tasting Vega supplement, I was about finished with this vegan lifestyle. Especially considering that I can pretty much eat whatever I want right now within reason! But, I have to admit that this meal rocked! I ordered udon barbecue "chicken" that tasted outstanding. I have leftovers that I can't wait to dive into tomorrow.
Who knows, maybe I'll even put on a pound by then!
All in all, it was a great day. A busy day. A productive day. An insightful day. A satisfying day spent with friends.
A day I'd like to repeat.
309 days and counting.