As my grandfather so wisely told me one day: real friends don't make you exercise. Unfortunately that sage advice came too late, as one of my friends, we'll call her Beelzebub, had already talked me into running a half marathon with her, and I was, at that point, only one week from said race. Why tell you this story? To warn you, dear friends, to steer clear of false friends trying to kill you under the guise of 'helping you live longer' or some such nonsense. If, however, you've already fallen victim to your own Beelzebub, and need some help staying on track, well, I suppose I'm here to help.
Habit Forge is a handy little site that'll let you lay out your goals (stop biting nails, run 3 miles, etc) and then email you, every day, for 21 days asking you if you've completed your goal for the day. If you say no the clock resets until you've succeeded for 21 days straight. After 21 successive days of success Habit Forge'll give you the option to continue monitoring your progress through them or to become accountable for your newly forged habit yourself.
If said new habit involves running, and the worst ones always seem to, I'd suggest taking advantage of the beautiful weather and going outside while the humidity's still low and the thermometer's still under 90 degrees. Enter Map My Run.
Map My Run will, as the name implies, keep an online map of your own personal, preferred route which you can then share with friends or keep on file so you don't forget it during your winter months with the treadmill. It'll also let you search other people's suggested runs (there's a great one from Fells to Fed Hill if you happen to live in Charm City) so you can branch out, take in a change of scenery, or even start running longer distances. Generally speaking, Map My Run is really a one-stop-e-running-shop that will, among other things, help you track your caloric intake if you're working towards a big race, keep a training log, or get encouragement from other runners.
Also handy if you've just begun running but have no specific race in mind?
Marathon Guide is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a list of races all over the world; as well as links to training guides, message boards, and news from events all over. You can even use it to check results of the races you or your friends have run. Use Marathon Guide as an all-inclusive resource that'll help you choose which race to do and get you headed on the right track training-wise.
If you're thinking of training outside, you should probably check the weather before you go, and who better to give you a weather report than our Commander-in-Chief himself?
Obama Weather is a clear, concise weather site that tells you the temperature for the each day of the week, the weather, and features our President dressed in weather-approperate clothing. Lots of snow on the way? Obama'll be wearing a heavy parka with gloves and a hat. Sunny and 85? Expect to see the leader of the free world in aviators and a tshirt. However, if you live in New England don't bother looking to our nation's president for answers - it seems the folks over at Obama Weather don't believe in New England any more than I do . They must be O's fans. Bonus: If you wake up one day feeling like Mr President just isn't cutting it, you can change him to Bender, Ashton Kutcher, Bruce Lee, Dr House, or Angelina Jolie - who could ask for anything more?