Category Archives: 30 Day Challenge

The Challenge in Numbers


New shoes.


Full-form pushups.


Average pace per mile.


Dailey Method Classes.


Miles around Lake Merritt.


Yoga practices.


Couch-to-5K sessions.


Days without looking at the scale.


Blog posts.

30 Consecutive days of surprises, unprecedented strength, and pride.





On Tuesday, I had a great run that met my goals.

Tuesday went so well, in fact, that I felt pretty nervous about today.  The running segments get substantially longer in week 5.  I hoped that I would be able to maintain my sub-10mm pace but honestly wasn’t convinced.  I was worried that I would get too tired, too winded.  I was even more worried that I wouldn’t challenge myself, would give up, and would feel like I wasn’t changing.

I am silly and blew today’s run out of the water.

0.25 mile warmup walk: 3.5/17mm

0.5 mile: 6.0/10mm

0.25 mile: 6.1/9:50mm

0.5 mile recovery: 3.5

0.5 mile: 6:2/9:41mm

0.25 mile: 6.5/9:15mm.   SERIOUSLY.

The c25k plan for W5D2 calls for two 0.75mile running segments.  For an additional challenge, I bumped up my speed on the last quarter mile both times, increasing distance continually.  Negative splits again.  Booyah.

It was GREAT.  Made even greater by my……NEW SHOES!!!!


These are Asics Gel-Noosa Tri-6’s.  They are technically triathalon shoes but based on all my research, they fit my specifications for a lightweight, neutral shoe.  I absolutely LOVE the way they look so I promised myself that if they arrived and didn’t feel right, I would send them back.  I was a bit nervous to do my first run in them.  I had some different feelings in both my knees and shin during the first 10 minutes and then they felt really comfy.  I feel great now and couldn’t be more pleased with my (slightly early) reward purchase.

After my run, I returned home for a brief yoga practice.  I prefer the full-body positive benefits of yoga to static stretching after running.  Today I used Suzanne Deason’s Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss, my go-to DVD.

When will they integrate Rock Band with yoga?

Happy (tired) me.

Pretty dang good Day 29.

Day 27

First, I want to *truly* thank those who read my last post: Weight.

I’m very grateful for the encouragement.  It was quite difficult to write  – it took me over two hours and I’m still not sure I articulated even half of my feelings on the subject!  I loved hearing that some of you were moved by it and that it spoke to your own experiences.  It feels great to share that story from the beginning of the next, and much more positive, chapter.

Today I annihilated W5D1 of the Couch-to-5k.  I moved from the time option to the distance option, which I greatly prefer.  It was pouring rain and I had to do the run on the treadmill so I set it to a 1.0 incline, to account for the wind resistance and uneven terrain found outside.

My workout went thusly :

5 minute warmup walk: 3.8/15:47mm

0.50 mile: 6.0/10mm

0.25 mile recovery: 3.8

0.50 mile: 6.1/9:50mm

0.25 mile recovery: 3.8

0.40 mile: 6.2/9:41mm

0.10mile: 7.0/8:34mm

5 minute cool down: 3.8-3.0


My breathing felt great.  I felt super strong!  ‘Edge of Glory’ came on at the beginning of the last running segment.

Thank you, Crazy Lady.

And then I went to Dailey Method.  Because I am crazy.  Like Gaga.



In fifth grade, my class was learning about the skeletal system.  My teacher, Mrs. Attles, told us that without our skeleton, “we’d just be a big blob of stuff.”  A girl in the class responded:

“Like Shauna.”

Evidenced by my Timeline, I have had a complicated relationship with my self.  My identity was formed around what I believed was the truth:  I was fat and thus, I was wrong.  I was not who I was supposed to be.  I was a disappointment.  I was unlovable.  I was not allowed or able to be happy.

Each time I lost weight, I was elated by the feeling that my life was changing.  That *I* was changing.  Each time I gained weight, it was confirmation that no,  nothing had changed.  Confirmation that there was something fundamentally wrong with me.

I lived between two extremes.  On one end of the pendulum was “perfect” behavior:  eating whatever I had currently decided was acceptable (and only that) and working out for the sole purpose of getting skinny.  When I swung in the other direction, it was to large quantities of unhealthy food.  My body would yearn for fruit and I would give it pizza.

Swinging back and forth was beyond demoralizing.  I hated seeing numbers on the scale and wearing outfits that I desperately wanted to leave in the past.  What I didn’t realize was that the momentum was slowing down.  Each time I swung from one side to the other, I didn’t go as far.  I may have moved away from working out but I brought whole grains with me.  During diligent times, it became easier to have an indulgent meal without fear, shame, or a spiral away from health.

* * *

The last time I weighed myself, I was 134lbs.  That is the lowest weight I have been as an adult.  I look and feel like a thin person.  I am one.  But see how I write about “a thin person” as though it’s someone else?  I’ve always believed that the “true” me was someone glamorous and thin.  How strange that in the past, when I came closer to that idealized version of myself, I felt like an imposter.  All of a sudden, I felt like an overweight person in a thinner body.

Now is different.

When I began the 30 Day Challenge, one of my fears was that I would gain muscle, gain pounds and feel like a failure.  I would no longer be on the road to “skinny” and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about that.  Was I still in the mentality that skinny is best? Have I finally grown to value strength and redefined “success?”  I promise to be honest about how I feel when I finally see how my increased strength influences that one number.  Even I’m curious to see my own reaction if this stronger, more solid body happens to be say, 140.  Seeing a loss on the scale feels great.  At this point, I can honestly say that shocking myself with an 8:14 minute mile and getting through a brutal thigh work set at TDM feels better.  I haven’t been on the scale but I am loving my body.  I feel so strong in every way.

It’s stunning.  It’s change.





Today is Day 25.

My plan for yesterday was **SUPERSATURDAY!!!**  I was going to have an especially super ass-kicking day:

* C25K W4D3 (is anyone else sick of all those letters and numbers?)

* Dailey Method

* 5K walk around Lake Merritt with a friend.

* Yoga practice to stretch out after all the activity.

My body had a different plan.


Periodically, I have some tenderness in my right knee.  It was bothering me last night and again this morning.  The pain was very mild but after 24 consecutive days of activity, it was clearly telling me to rest.  I iced and I listened.  I spent the morning trying to determine what I was capable of doing and realized that I should do the easiest activities and prepare my body for SUPERSUNDAY.

I picked up my lovely friend Tonia for lunch and a 3 mile walk.  Exercise is fairly new to her so I knew our walking pace would be comfortable.  Happily, it gave me an opportunity to use the Run Keeper app for the first time.  NEAT!

Feedback Nerd Bliss.

I can’t WAIT to run with this app.  I’m so curious about my outside pace.  The app syncs to the RunKeeper website which shows elevation!  I look forward to seeing how dang steep those hills really are!

One thing that’s increasingly clear to me is that I need new shoes.  I’m getting gnarly blisters on the bottom of my feet and I could definitely feel the walk in my joints yesterday.  Since I’m much stronger, lighter and more fit than a year ago when I was doing the same activities in these shoes with no pain and no blisters, it’s time to bite the bullet.  Looks like my 30 Day Challenge reward is going to be new kicks.  And I really, really, really, REALLY want them to be these:


Time to fuel up for SUPERSUNDAY and then go kick some funfetti-earning ass!

Balance, Treats, Rewards

After about a week without a functioning AC adapter for my laptop, I FINALLY have my lifeline back!  Despite the great iPad WordPress app, blogging without my computer is a pain in the basketballs.  Hence the brief, picture-less posts.

As the 30 Day Challenge progresses, I’m finding myself increasingly “focused” (read: OBSESSIVE.)  When I see positive results, I tend to begin to fear food.  It is very easy for me to workout every day.  It is hard to eat enough to fuel my activities.  It’s even harder to believe that this is actually happening.  For good.

Since I truly want to make permanent life changes,  there must be balance:



There also must be treats:


And, of course, there are rewards:




Today is Day 20 of the 30 Day Challenge.

Today, I am tired.

I will say that being tired from doing a lot feels a hell of a lot better than being tired from doing nothing. This was the first day that I didn’t feel completely enthusiastic about my workout. The difference between today and twenty days ago (besides some pretty sexy muscle tone) is that twenty days ago, I totally wouldn’t have gone. I would have spent the morning watching reruns of House Hunters. I wouldn’t have been unhappy about my weight because I lost a significant amount before taking on this challenge. BUT I wouldn’t have felt stronger and sexier than ever.

During each TDM class, I observe new and increased strength and flexibility. (My solid hammys shocked me today!) I struggle immensely with my form in seat work. The idea of coming into a chaturanga pushup AFTER a minute and a half of plank is still preposterous to me. While I have major areas that I still look forward to improving, I’m also able to stay in the work longer and dig deeper than ever before. It is so f*cking cool.

Two thirds ass kicking done. At 29 years old, I suppose I’m not referring just to this challenge, am I?


I woke up this morning excited to work out.

Ugh. Really? Am I becoming one of *those* people?

It gets worse. I wanted to go to TDM because I’m currently on an unlimited month and want to get the most of it. And who am I kidding? I’ve really been enjoying it. I also really wanted to start week four of c25k. I haven’t run since Friday’s hills and have been…..missing it.

Gross! Creepy!! Who actually LIKES working out??


So yeah, I did both. Headed to the gym for W4D1. The running segments are up to 3 and 5 minutes, with half the amount of time of the running interval to recover. My hope was to stay near 6.0 on the treadmill (10mm of you’re terrible at running math, like this idiot.) As I got myself situated, I realized that left my f*cling iPod in the car. How was I going to run 5 minutes at my faster pace without GAGA?? Well, it took some serious self-talk and some internal screaming at Ina Garten (sorry, ma’am) but I did it! Didn’t slow down or nothing! It’s starting to look like a 10 minute mile is a real possibility for my 5k pace. Neat.

After the gym, I headed over to TDM which was almost empty. Good news = lots of personal attention. Bad news = lots of personal attention. While I’m much, much stronger than before, I still get a little uncomfortable being singled out numerous times for corrections. I should be, and am, grateful but I sort of hate hearing my name through the microphone. Ah well, if the goal was to stay in my comfort zone, I wouldn’t be there at all!

A New Kind of Perfect

Today was the perfect Saturday.

First of all, it was 73 degrees. This weather has been completely bizarre but I will take it. If it means that the San Francisco Bay Area is underwater in 2030, so be it.

I woke up well-rested for the first time all week. I headed to a 9:45 Dailey Method class taught by the studio owner, Susan. In 2011, I found her classes very intimidating. She used to correct me to the point where it actually felt like she was picking on me. I was a bit nervous about attending her class today but figured I shouldn’t avoid it merely because it makes me uncomfortable. That’s not how PNP is rolling these days!

Class was wonderful and difficult. I was only corrected a couple times and it may have been my imagination but she seemed much friendlier than I remember. I think there is a bit of prejudice amongst both the students and instructors against people who are larger. Admittedly, I am more confident this time around and feel less scrutinized. That said, the instructors and other students are unquestionably nicer to me than when I was attending class with an additional 30lbs on my lower body.

Anywhoo, today was lovely and I’m psyched for class tomorrow!

After TDM, I picked up my friend T for a walk around the lake. She has recently lost a substantial amount of weight and is starting to introduce some exercise into her routine. We soaked up the March sunshine (?!) and worked up our appetites for lunch.

A bit of shopping (including an unprecedented $35 Lululemon tank!) and some additional vitamin D on the back patio. Heaven.

I didn’t anticipate that my definition of a perfect day would evolve to include 2 hours of physical activity. It’s day 17 of the challenge. I have had periods of physical activity much longer than this but none as transformative. I absolutely can’t wait to see what else transforms.

Fit Fracking Friday

Audience appreciate alliteration?

Long fricking fracking day today. Got in the car at 7am with a thick layer of ice on my windshield.  By mid-day it was 60 degrees?  WTF?  It was sunny and beautiful and all I could think was….

….how much I wanted to go for a run.

And then I saw this.

Today was much busier and longer than yesterday.  My plan was to do yoga at home which is the only thing I can typically handle after a  10 hour teaching day.  Much, much, MUCH to my shock, as I sat in terrible traffic, I made the decision to do W3D3 in my neighborhood when I got home.  That’s right, folks.  Not only was I going to run after a full work day, I was going to run HILLS.

And it was amazing.  Much easier than either of my workouts on the treadmill this week?!  Could I actually be an outdoor running convert?  I imagine my running portions were a bit slower but my heart was at a comfortable elevated rate the entire time.  So comfortable, in fact, that I added an extra 5 minute running segment at the end!  As I ran, I could really imagine successfully running a race.

I absolutely cannot wait.

P.S. Did yoga afterward and still haven’t looked at the scale.  In case anyone is keeping track…