When I came home from yesterday’s run, I was so pumped to find my girl Jillian Michaels on my doorstep.

OK, it was really a box from Amazon.com that contained the 30-day Shred DVD (as well as “Love the One You’re With” by Emily Giffin and “I’m So Happy For You” by Lucinda Rosenfeld — thanks for the birthday money, Mom!)

I decided to try it today, after my run — I didn’t want anything to stop me from completing another 2 miles. And even in the 510 percent humidity, I finished my 2 miles at the exact same pace as yesterday.

Anyway, I came home and chugged some water and popped Jillian into the DVD player. I was nervous because there are marathon runners who’ve blogged about how hard the workout is.

And they’re right. It is hard. But not undoable.

What I liked best is that I knew it was only 20 minutes long — haha! I’ve been in hourlong classes where I’ve been watching the clock after 15 minutes. I knew that I could handle 20 minutes.

I also love what Jillian has to say during the session. I’ve done DVDs (and classes) where I just want the instructor to shut. up. now., but Jillian has a lot of great insight and I don’t mind her at all. I really agreed with her comment that we’ve been told fitness is as simple as choosing the stairs over the elevator, and that’s completely false.

That said, the strength moves are hard as hell! It was probably dumb of me to grab 8-pound weights, but I felt like 5 pounds would be to easy (I use 10 or 12 at body sculpting). The very first strength moves — the push ups and the overhead presses with squats — killed me.

I’m not surprised. Strength training has always been my weakness, but now I have Jillian to push me through it.

Those of you who shred: How often do you do it? How long before you took it to the next level? Did it do wonders for your fitness/weight loss goals?

My goals with the shred:

  •  Tone, tone, tone arms
  • Banish this belly fat
  • Continue getting stronger to help my running
  • Push me from a size 12 to an 8*

* I know clothing sizes are a dumb goal. And it’s the least of my motivation at this point. But I’m still overweight and although I’m “fit,” I am still “fat” and honestly believe that I am meant to be slimmer and much more toned than I am right now. If I get into a 10 and it seems like that’s where my body’s meant to be, than that’s fabulous, and I will be a size 10. But until that day arrives … 8 it is.