Did you know the right equipment really makes all the difference?
After my first 5k, my hips and knees hurt horribly! I had been running for almost 4 months before the race and hadn't had a whole lot of trouble. But for the majority of those 4 months, I had been running on a treadmill which has more "give" than pavement. When I started running outside the week before the race (and the day of the race), my knees and hips were screaming!
I talked with a seasoned runner and he encouraged me to buy a good quality pair of shoes. The pair I had been running in were my track shoes that I used in high school when I threw discus and shot put and (sometimes) ran the 400 yard relay. It was high time for them to be replaced.
My friend told me about a great store for runners. I went there and they fitted me for a pair of good shoes. It was neat because they watched me walk/jog and paid attention to how my feet moved so they could recommend the best pair of shoes for me. I tried on quite a few pairs before finding "the one"--the pair that didn't feel like I was wearing shoes, was comfortable, and fit just right! (By the way, did you know that your running shoes should be about 1/2 a size larger than your street shoes so that when you run your toes don't hit the end and cause pain? I didn't!)
I have been wearing my new shoes for about a month now and running outside with them quite frequently. The best part? No pain!
On another note, I've been wanting an exercise ball for a long time. It really helps my back when I lay on it and stretch out. I've also heard that sitting on the ball while watching tv (or reading blogs on my laptop!) is a good way to build up core strength. So when I saw this ball at Aldi for just $5.99, I snatched it up! I've used it quite a bit and I'm loving it!