I am by no means an expert runner. I ran (ok, jogged) the Shamrock Shuffle with a few thousand other runners and managed to limp to the end, mostly because I ran it with a friend and we both knew there was a free beer at the after-party. But running a race when you are not prepared is a painful experience, so gearing up for the run season is key. CARA, a local runners' organization, offers advice for beginning and intermediate athletes, running clinics, group runs and many other resources.
The Chicago Public Library does not have an indoor track (Note to self: suggest this to the commissioner.), but we do offer guides and inspirational memoirs to get you jogging:
Runner's World Complete Book of Running: This book is one of many by the folks at the magazine Runner's World and offers details on nutrition, preventing injuries and training. The magazine itself offers updated information on different races around the world and gear/clothing suitable for every weather.
50/50 by Dean Karnazes: Dean is an ultrarunner, someone who thinks marathons are warm-ups for the 100-mile races he likes to run. In this memoir, he describes running 50 marathons in 50 days. As you marvel at his endurance and dedication, you will also pick up tips and advice from a man who can order a pizza and eat it while running.
Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley: This hilarious and touching memoir details Alexandra's running career that began in her 30s and how she went from a couch potato to someone who completed five marathons. Full of inspiration and advice for anyone who thinks they can't run, she also outlines the physical and emotional benefits of a runner's life.