part 2 i'm not trying to write a book here, it's just when my post got long, the screen started doing weird things.
Here's what I've found helpful as I've gotten more serious about running:
-get a running friend or partner. if you can't find anyone, join or check into road runners clubs of america. they have chapters all over the country. i'm a member of my local running club. in the DC area alone, there's the DC road runners, montgomery county road runners, howard county road runners; there are 'road runners' in every county around here. when i went to FL last summer on vacation, i checked into running with the ft myers road runners (although on vacation, i never felt like getting up early and running with them).
These road runners chapters have all speeds of runners - from those who are trying to Boston qualify to 'back of the pack' groups. They have training groups for 5k's, 10k's, half and full marathons. The one i'm in has a training group for beginning runners, for women and for walkers.
-subscribe to Runners World or go to their website. I used to see this magazine (which almost always features 'plastic looking perfect people' on the cover) and think it was just for fast runners and so wouldn't be helpful for me. It appeals to and helps all runners. They have a section just for slow runners and a section for beginners. They have training tips and diet / food info, shoe info, race info, stories, all kinds of info. Their website has all kinds of specific info as well, info on injuries, etc. It's a great magazine.
-if you're going to run, get a GOOD pair of shoes. this really helps in the injury department. i've found it helpful to go to a running store (not just target or whatever) and talk to someone that is used to helping runners find a good shoe that fits their gait or style or whatever. it's a little more expensive but is worth it. also, get good socks.
-if you're moving from doing a half marathon to doing a marathon, i think a training group is really necessary and very helpful. when you have to knock out weekly long runs it's so helpful to have a group or person to talk to pass the hours and also stay accountable to (like when you'd rather stay in bed on saturday morning).
i'm sure others have great advice to share or we could share some goal races we'd like to try, etc.
happy running, walking, etc