Just some food for thought on footwear. I recently purchased a pair of running shoes, whereas previously I had been doing my running in some run-of-the-mill cross-trainers. What a difference it makes! My cross-trainers were fine, but it has come to my attention that having a pair of shoes that allow your feet to contour naturally to the surface beneath has great implication when doing long distance running. Inadequate footwear can lead to any number of injuries including overuse injuries due to improper running technique that can be caused because of the footwear you have. Running barefoot really is the best option, but I would never expect anyone to run barefoot down a trail or road. Having the pair of shoes that fit your feet and their natural movement is the way to go to avoid problems with long distance running down the road (and yes, I did intend for that to be a little pun). Always remember to do your stretching, too, as that will also help to avoid some commons ailments tht come with long-distance running. For more info on footwear, there are some really great websites out there that you can find through searches, and local, independently owned shoe stores generally will have friendly and helpful service reps that can help with any questions.