Last year when I started with the Shredheads, I started slow. I was starting close to 100 pounds heavier than most of the people who were doing it and I knew that going in to it the last thing I needed to do was burn out quickly. I didn't do more than level 1 Shred. When it got warm, I moved my exercise outside. I tried to run, but learned I have asthma in the process. I took it slow. I still made a lot of progress. By the end of the summer I could mostly walk (some short jogs) close to 3 miles without any issue. I was even able to do it in under an hour.
This spring, I started right back up. I was able to go 3 miles right from the start. Basically meaning that while the scale didn't move down over winter, I didn't really lose anything fitness wise.
Last year when the Shredheads moved on from Jillian to the Couch to 5K program, I wanted to go with them. Unfortunately I just wasn't ready. I was still figuring out how to manage my asthma. I also couldn't figure how to do the whole timed thing. I tried a stop watch, it didn't work. I looked in to runners watches, and new iPods, but they were all more than I was willing to invest.
This year is different. This year when Liz put up her challenge, I knew I needed to be done making excuses. When Missy brought up on Twitter that she had bought an iPod and was downloading C25K podcasts, I knew my last issue was solved. The podcasts allow me to get the music I love as motivation with someone else providing the timing information. Missy even pointed me in the direction of what seems to be one of the best ones you can find (given our age and musical taste). Carli's whole website is a great motivation.
I did Week 1 - Day 1 today. I thought it was trying to kill me at one point, but I beat it. I didn't cheat once. I ran when you are supposed to run. I walked when I was supposed to walk. I even did my regular 3 mile route and after the program was finished walked the rest of the way home. It took me longer than everyone else, and I am sure it will slow down and be hard and I won't go as fast as everyone else, but I will finish it. Liz's goal is the Liz Logelin 5K in September. I plan to do that to, but I will also do the local road race a whole two blocks from my house on Labor Day. If it being that easy to participate isn't a hint that I should get my ass in gear, I don't know what is.
A little side note:
Throughout the whole journey of exercise and trying to get healthier, the one thing I never wanted to do was feel bad about not always being as fast or as aggressive as everyone else. I knew there would be times when I wouldn't meet my goals. I refused to feel guilty, because those kinds of negative emotions just set me down the path of failure (totally have a duh! moment here as it relates to other parts of my life). If there is any piece of advice I can give to others, especially those with a lot to lose, that is it. You can't make excuses either, but you need to find your own pace as you move forward. You don't need to apologize to anyone or feel bad about that. All that matters is making progress.