Thursday, July 31, 2008

Round 3 Week 4 P90X
Wednesday: P90X Plyometrics
Thursday: Rest

Friday: P90X X Stretch
Saturday: Mow & Rest
Sunday: Rest

July 30, 1994 -- 14 amazing years ago -- I wed my bride Debbie Kinyon McLain just prior to 5:30 p.m. ET at First Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, PA. Without Debbie, I'd be nothing. I love her more today than I did those scant 14 short years ago, and every year seems but a day. We've had our ups and downs (mostly ups!) and I'm anxious to write about our next 14 years together when the time comes. Here's wishing I was home today to do things right -- honey, see you on Friday. I love you!

Ok, ok... I did it. No need to rub it in. ;) Promised myself that I'd take a full recovery week, and darn it... I am. BUT...

After yesterday's long day on the road and calorie intake a bit higher than I'd like, along with lots of sitting around, I decided that an early morning sweat bath was in order.

So Pam and BLAM, the one-legged man, and that crazy French guy jumpin' all over the room -- nearly forgot Tony The Crazy -- and I nailed Plyometrics in the comfort of my somewhat-cramped hotel room. I got my second wind when I hit 40 minutes into it, and really finished strong.

Time to get ready for my second day at the Boca offices and get some work done...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Round 3 Week 4 P90X
Monday: Yoga X
Tuesday: P90X Core Synergistics (SO good!)

Ok, ok... I've been a bit of a "guy" during these past two rounds. Hitting weeks 4, 8, and 12 and saying in my brain: "Recovery week? What for? I'm a MAN. SKIP IT!"

In round 3, I've decided to take Tony's plan to heart and really do the recovery. Sure, my weight might increase a bit/some strength gained sacrificed in the name of working on flexibility and stretching/rest, but... I know my body will be better off for it in the long run.

I've had some fatigue issues during this first round, and the end of the last. It's time to test things, do the recovery in full BRING IT mode, and see what's what.

I firmly believe it'll help me break through my plateau(s) and bring me to the next level.

Full day today, the flying down to Boca Raton for our sales meeting early-ish tomorrow morning. Looking forward to it!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Round 3 Week 3 P90X
Sunday: One on One w/Tony: PlyoLegs

Was high time to end the first phase of Round 3 with my newest tasty treat -- Tony's first One on One DVD, PlyoLoegs. He takes his time, pushes us both hard, and gets all the sweaty crazy leg-burnin' action done in 1:00:00 flat. It's interval work with some new Plyo moves that makes the heart beat pretty darn fast -- and it's all good.

Took it easy on Saturday again, took Will and Deb down to Jordan Lake to hang out with Wool E. Bull from the Durham Bulls baseball team -- and ride in an amazing Triumph boat.

Seriously... if I ever got my entire financial house in order, had Will's college all paid for, no other debts (!!), and some serious retirement cash set aside, I'd *consider* a Triumph boat to enjoy Jordan Lake. It's (the lake) huge, it's amazing, and it's 10 minutes down the road. Plus, with my fence up, I can park it (the boat, silly) in my backyard without worry about HOA stuff. ;)

Anyhoo, enough dreaming... on to a solid Monday, then off to Boca to our ProQuest Florida offices for our K-12 sales meeting. Looking forward to having some time with our amazing sales professionals, keeping them informed of our crazy-good progress on our electronic marketing campaigns (Website and enewsletters), and sharing some silly-insightful video I shot at NECC in San Antonio earler this month.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Round 3 Week 3 P90X
Tuesday: P90X Plyometrics + Bike
Wednesday: P90X Shoulders & Arms
Thursday: P90X Yoga X + Bike!
Friday: P90X+ Total Body Plus & Biking

Honesty time again, folks... Last week, two days in a row (Wed. and Thu.) I was hitting the bike trail pretty hard -- this time with a pair of shadows.

First, a spritely dude on a nice bike was just ahead of me as I started my journey. So, of course... match his speed at least, get my legs under me, then blow 'em away, right? Sure enough, about 3 miles in, following pretty close and matching his (moderate) pace, I decided to pass him. With a smile, he waved me on, and I didn't look back -- just imagined him following close as well and pushing us both to go faster.

Thursday, same deal. Only, I was unloading my bike when I saw an obviously-seasoned woman pulling down the hill with her top-end bike and gear, with a serious attitude in her pace. Darn it, I thought, here we go again... only this time, it's going to be tough.

I finished hauling out my bike, set up my stuff, and pulled down the hill a few minutes later. Sure enough, there she was -- a solid 1.5 miles ahead just across Olive Chapel Road. I set up a crazy pace, with the goal of passing her... sometime. If I could.

I pushed and pushed, and the gap SLLLLOOWWLY closed, feeling good, winded but good... and just after passing the parking lot about 5.5 miles up the trail I finally caught up, paced her, then overtook. She had looked back once, knew I was there... then BLAM. I took off, a super-high pace, breathing pretty hard...

...then got some pretty serious right-side stitches. Ouch! I pushed through 'em, loosened up my core, and pushed through the pain.

Well, it's Tuesday now folks... and every workout since has found some slight new pain on my right side. Nothing that can't be worked through, but, I definitely got a nice pull from that stunt.

And after yesterday's crazy 95 degree, 110% humidity, and no joy in the shade ride all the way up and back the entire usable trail from Olive Chapel to the train tressle in Chatham County... I'm feeling pretty darn spent. Of course, there have been daily P90X's in there and a One on One -- sooo, with the temp already at 78 at this early hour, there shant be any biking today.

Plyometrics this (Tues.) morning, then, was taken to the top level as usual -- rocked every move, can definitely feel that my legs are as strong as they've ever been. They can take long-term abuse and not cramp up or complain, and the look pretty darn alien to me. Solid, defined... in good working order.

Scale reading 178/179 two days in a row... Feeling proud all around.

Rock your Tuesday, folks, and keep BRINGING IT Tony-style... I know I shall.

Wednesday = glamour routine -- shoulders and arms. Used my 20 pounders for the entire first round, then down-shifted to 12 for some of the moves in round two, and eight's for the bonus round wide moves. Definitely brought the attitude and burn, and my arms were quaking as I reached for the remote to turn off the TV... Results-city.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Round 3 Week 3 P90X
Sunday: One on One with Tony: PlyoLegs
Monday: P90X Chest & Back + Hip Hop Abs Intro & Bike

What a weekend -- started out a little lackluster, then just built up steam through early this morning... Friday night, decided to stay up till 1 a.m. Sat. playing Civilization Revolution on the trusy 360. Awesome strategy game, start with a settler and some brutes in the year 0 basically, and build up your country through the 1900's and into the space age of 2050 or so. As you can imagine, a 4-6 hour game isn't out of the question.

Thus... moved my rest day to Saturday for the first time. Slept in a little, then decided to really lay back and see The Dark Knight @ matinee.

I was completely blown away by Heath Ledger ( as The Joker. He had that role down cold in a whole new way. Sure, Jack Nicholson was great in his comic-book take from the early days -- but Heath = the dark, crazy, over-the-top evil in a "I understand why he's insane" way of today. I'm glad it broke all kinds of records, and I'd be shocked if Heath did win all kinds of awards post-leaving us much, much too early.

Sunday I woke up with tons of energy and hit One on One with Tony Horton: PlyoLegs. There were several crazy new moves that took things to the next level, and a lot of the usual moves mixed in there for the standard burny burn in the legs.

He mixed up the whole hour by turning the whole affair into an intervals routine as well, so three solid things going on -- and even a new Groucho Walk that will turn you into a crazy Sumo Groucho with your feet high in the air. (See photo top of this post... crazy-good!)

My heart rate was in the zone for longer than even the Plus routines, and it was refreshing to pretend that I really was one on one with Tony -- working out in his personal workout room in his house in the LA hills (can see downtown not that far away down the hill from his awesome abode) and seeing him dial down the chattiness was interesting. Honestly, I kind of missed him being super-sonic up and silly -- but he compenstated for it by kicking OUR butts.

All in all, I'm impressed by the idea and simple but effective execution of One on One and am anxious to get my fists on the next 11!

Mowed the lawn on the super-humid Sunday and managed to lose about three pounds in pure crazy sweat. Made sure to crank down 16 oz. of water before, during, and after -- always a good idea.

Onward to Monday (today), starting off the week with Chest & Back -- managed to do 10 reps unassisted pull-ups during round one, then got the six on the second -- ack. Ok, it's not about the numbers... right? I'll blame it on eating a smaller bar before the workout, and all the stuff I did on Sunday. There, I feel a... little... better. Will keep bringing it!

Looks like we may hit 100 today -- yikes. Tomorrow as well, then a much nicer end to our NC week...

Friday, July 18, 2008

One on One with Tony Horton Review

The site says it all:

"Get up close and personal with Tony Horton and director Mason Bendewald. Every day, Tony is coming up with new exercises in his gym to keep himself and you in extreme shape, and Mason is there to get the REAL Tony experience on video. Power 90®, P90X®, and 10-Minute Trainer® were just the beginning . . . Now get ready for nonstop, heart-pounding action month after month."

Heck, I'm game. Ordered up the first workout, and it just arrived. You can get new workouts every month, and it's just Tony in his home working out with you and burning it to CD. Simple and awesome.

The first workout = a killer Plyometric routine with a fair share of new moves over the original Plyometrics. Excellent views of Tony's workout room, and it's fun to pretend that you're working out right next to the new king of fitness!

I plan to add this into my current Round 3 routine on either Tuesday (original Plyo day, duh!) and/or Saturday. Kenpo X Plus is rockin' on Sat.'s (the original Kenpo is going to remain in the dust jacket -- not enough intensity), so my Sat.'s are about to get a wake up call with Tony's first One on One.

Will report on the results/how I'm feeling post-workout -- until then, check out the program and let's all workout with Tony.

Round 3 Week 2 P90X Plus

Friday: P90X Legs & Back + Biking

Was able to crack out 2 X 10 pull-ups, unassisted/no chair -- again! Feeling proud and strong, the early eating/16 oz. water seems to be doing the trick. Stronger and better able to dish out some extreme moves. The proof will be in the results, I'm sure. Nice, nice.

On another note... why the heck did I do Legs and Back twice this week? Once on Wed., then today? Wed. should have been Shoulders and Arms... ack. Ahh well, my legs are feeling great and my pull-ups are tasty. I'll excuse the 37-year-old-Senior-Moment if you will.


Have a great Friday and weekend ahead fellow Tony followers!

P90X: Take Action!
Jimmy Hays Nelson is a Beachbody Coach. He's done P90X and worked with Tony Horton, the inventor and host of the workouts. Let Jimmy inspire you like he's inspired me! (2006 vs. 2009 photo P90X review proof.) Buy your copy of the P90X DVDs, then sign up (free!) to get Jimmy as your personal BB Coach. Bolster your food plan by tracking your calories with (guys, 2,000 cals a day), and consider adding Shakeology to your daily food intake -- it's like going to the salad bar with five plates. If you're already a P90X user, take the next step and be a coach with Jimmy's help. Keep pushing play, bring it, A+ P90X review!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Round 3 Week 2 P90X Plus
Wednesday: P90X Legs & Back + Massive Bike Ride
Thursday: P90X Yoga X & Bike Ride

Thursday + Yoga & Biking = Warm Glow...

Plus, it was a banner Wed. morning here in Chez McLain NC, with Legs and Back in the house, Mr. Horton making us do some super-yummy wall squats, tons of pull-ups, lots of lunges, and all the rest.

The news? This week I decided to take some advice from Mr. Wes -- "Not getting the reps you want? Eat something just before you workout, like 1/2 a granola bar or somethin'."

Right, right... So, the plan. Get up about 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Drink 16 oz of water (new study I recently read about said this increases the effectiveness of a workout by about 40%)...

...and, at the same time (putting aside the usual thoughts of "calorie deficit Mr. McLain, more workout, less calories = success!") noshing a small protein bar/approx. 175 calories.

Next, reading the paper or a book for 15 minutes to let the digestion kick in -- then rock the workout.

The results? A breakthrough today for sure. Got my mits on my pull-up bar, reverse grip, and knocked out 10 unassisted, no-chair, fully extended pull-ups in a row without a break and without killing myself.

I could hardly believe it -- I came down from number 10, then started laughing -- too cool! How did I do that? Previously I did 5-6 unassisted/no chair, paused with arms down, then did 3 more... another pause. Then 2-3 to finish. Today -- 10, pause, then 3 and 3.

Then, the next round, same move... heck, let's TRY it again. 10 again, just clear the ol' brain, knock 'em out, feel how things feel through the moves, had enough energy to make it happen. Then 3 and 3 -- wearing out, but not totally crashing. Sweet.

So perhaps I've found my new plateau breaker. The water and the bar just before, then hitting things hard.

Thanks Wes!

(Tony just turned 50 -- don't miss his interview! This guy is nuts and too cool for school!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Round 3 Week 2 P90X Plus
Tuesday: P90X+ Total Body Plus + Bike Ride

Decided to slot in the ol' Total Body Today in lieu of Plyometrics. A little more resistance along with some crazy movements that really get all the muscles burnin' the the heart pumpin' big time. The workout seems deceptively short -- but it's anything but truncated. It's not hard to get through all the moves, but you really get the sweat flowing during the second half -- great stuff.

Lots to do today -- washed out my bike ride yesterday, so I'm anxious to crush the entire length today and catch up.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Round 3 Week 2 P90X Plus

Monday: P90X Chest & Back + Bike Ride -- Rained Out :(

Back in the saddle -- and feeling much stronger. I think this was due to drinking 20 oz. of water and having a big ol' banana 20 minutes before getting crazy @ 5:30 this morning. Still had some rep issues, but as Tony says, quality over quantity, everything felt a little easier. Nice.

Looking forward to Deb coming back this evening -- Will and I missed her a lot. Now I know 1% of what it must be like to be a single parent, juggling school/work/cooking/cleaning, and all the rest. A week was plenty for me -- can't imagine having to commute and do everything else. Makes me value marriage/the wife-husband parternship even more.

My laptop is in MI for servicing today, hoping the ol' "Can't find operating system" message gets expertly fixed by my main man Ryan at the help desk and my pretty nice Dell gets back to me on Wednesday at the latest.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cooking Globally With Chef T

Just got done posting one of my newest projects -- written/screen caps by co-worker Jeff Cutler -- new-fangled video training for our ProQuest online learning resources: CultureGrams.

Includes the debut of Chef T (yours truly!) -- I'm planning to do more of these in the Fall.

Here's the other release: SIRS Researcher -- same general format. ;)

Friday, July 11, 2008

The extended McLain clan gathers in PA @ July 4

Round 3 Week 1 P90X
Thursday: P90X Yoga X
Friday: P90X Legs & Back + Biking (Scale = 179!!)
Saturday: P90X+ Kenpo Plus

So there I was yesterday, winding up a whirlwind hour of mountain biking down the American Tobacco Trail, approx. 22 miles in all. Parked at the Olive Chapel trail head, got out the Specialized, rode all the way to the dead-end at the train tressle in Chatham County, turned around, got within .5 miles of the van, riding over a nice long wooden bridge just prior to the end.

I was riding exceptionally fast, no one around, likely close to or over 20 MPH, when it caught my eye.

A mixed orange snake, about three feet long, fat and taking up most of the path.

I barely had a second to react, pulling up my right foot from the pedal, veering left, and hoping Mr. Snake didn't get it into his head to nail me.

And then it happened -- he struck. I saw his head come up and felt...



I skidded to a stop, snapped my head back, in time to see him dart to the edge of the bridge and off, down into the water, with...

...a large furry white/gray animal in its mouth.

A mouse? Rat?

Either way, that squishy feeling against the back of my leg was the mouse bouncing against me -- if he didn't have that prey in his mouth... Ouchies.

Talk about an adventure -- and all in .5 seconds or so. Note to self -- keep your head up more and scan ahead. Roger.

Yoga today, made it very, very close to the end before Will woke up. All good!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Round 3 Week 1 P90X Plus

Wednesday: P90X Shoulders & Arms + Bike Ride

Want to know a secret? Taking a full week off from the P90X and P90X Plus routine sets you up for a pretty crazy re-entry... I ate pretty well, didn't over-do the adult beverages, and in general reveled in slightly more sleep each day and a few well-deserved slices of pie (thanks JoAnne!)

So imagine my surprise, today, three days back into the fold, and my chest/arms are pretty darn sore. Not so much that I can't lift my arms over my head, etc. BUT... sore through and through. And that's OK -- I'm glad my body got a little soft around the edges. It's time to tighten up the bolts and continue to work hard into Round Three and beyond.

My goal? As I told my brothers-in-law (above) -- I'm pretty happy getting down nearly 45 pounds over the last year and a half. Now that the usual July 4th family gathering is complete, one of my original goals complete -- attending the event in the best shape ever -- next year I plan on bringing my own six pack, abs-style.

To make that happen, I need to crush the Ab Routines in Rounds 3, 4, 5, and 6 -- a full 12 months between now and then... and I have no doubt that it'll happen. If I can get HERE, I can get THERE. Right? ;)

Lots to do this week, getting back into the work routine as well. Lots of video to edit, back to school email newsletters like a thunderhead on my end of July calendar, with podcasts to match... phew. Love it.

Hi Debber -- if you're reading this from Texas and Portus! Will is feeling 100% better this morning, never ran a fever, and just hit the bus to head over to school. Will keep an ear to the phone. I think his little visit to the bucket last night was a combo of lack of sleep/recovering from last week away, nerves about starting first grade on Monday, and the other things rolling around in his head that are seriously upsetting his little tummy. He misses you, and so do I!

Here's a Harry Potter themed LOLCATS for you today Deb -- rock that Dallas Con...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Round 3 Week 1 P90X Plus
Monday: P90X Chest & Back + Bike Ride
Tuesday: P90X Plyometrics (All moves hit HARD!)

Ahh yes, great to be back home. Not that NECC 2008 wasn't a crazy-productive and fantastic time for ProQuest and I -- and my scant few days with the Kinyon and McLain clans wasn't total fun -- it was. BUT... back to your own bed, in your own house, with all the familiar stuff around, you know what I mean.

Don't miss the photos -- captured some awesome moments of everything from smoky fireworks to Dutch Wonderland to kids high in trees and everthing in between.

Now it's back to P90X and the start of Round Three. Totally dogged my way through the routine, rep count down, a full week off = pain.

But that's OK -- I'll be back in the groove in a few days. Back on diet, rocked the trail over lunch for 18 miles with Wesman, and many fine days ahead.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

NECC: Day Three

It's been an amazing NECC -- 13K+ attendees, everyone looking to take full advantage of the best technology in their schools. Web 2.0 and Wikis were the hot topics, and there was lots of talk about upgrading bandwidth and hardware.

The next logical question that schools keep asking -- now that we have all of this great equipment, what do we do with it? How do we fill that bandwidth with quality, curriculum-aligned content?

Excellent question. The anwser = ProQuest. Our research solutions contain the highest-quality, curriculum-aligned materials, multimedia, and much more. That's why we'll continue to attend NECC for years to come and help increase teacher and tech coordinator awareness of our solutions.

It's off to the booth for 1/2 a day, then to the airport, and a few relaxing days at Kinyon Manor in Lancaster. Ahhhh.... Nice.