What a wonderful day I had yesterday reading all of your emails. Our Blue Line Beginners are going to represent a colorful cross section of our community and a broad range of abilities. So far we've got educators, truck drivers, a mayor, a minister, four sisters, journalists, office workers, retirees, and lots of parents and grandparents. I've heard from folks who want to run a half marathon before we're done - and many dedicated walkers who were thrilled to hear that the Akron Marathon has a place for them.

Today's as good as any to get started, so let's slip on our tenners, step outside and take a walk around the block. Of course, if you're already in the habit of walking or running, then keep your routine going.

Speaking of tenners, don't buy any new shoes yet. Our first speaker this coming Saturday is going to give us tips on how to pick out a good walking/running shoe. For those who can't make it, I'll report back in detail so you don't miss out.

Now, if you sent me an email joining our Blue Line Beginners, then you've already received your homework for this week. I'll repeat it here:

1) Check in on this blog every afternoon. I'll be posting news, tips, strategies, profiles of teammates, Q&As with marathon staff and more. It will help us stay in touch all week long.

2) If you can join us on Saturdays, that would be wonderful. BUT if you can't, you're still very much a part of our team. I'll send out an email asking those who didn't make it to report on what they did that week so we can continue to motivate each other.

3) Whether you're already walking, running or just getting off the couch, make a goal to get out at least 3 times before Saturday. Go for a stroll around the neighborhood, or take a hike at a local park.

4) If you can, take a selfie of yourself while you are out walking or hiking or running and send it to me. Later this week I'll post the selfies I get on the blog so we can start getting to know each other.

Gotta run for now. The Blue Line is calling....

- Paula