I second the recommendation for a C25K program. It will help ease you back into the pace and minutes you're looking for at a level that will allow you to recover.
To answer your questions:
I mostly run in my neighborhood, as it's just easier. I head out the door and am ready to go. I have a few different routes in the neighborhood, depending on how far I'm planning to run that day.
I am anything but a morning person, but I really like to run in the early morning. (I'm out the door by about 5:45am.) It helps make sure nothing "comes up" later in the day to interfere with my running plans and it's also much better weather as we're moving into summer (at least here in the U.S.).
I almost always run alone, again because of the convenience factor, but I do enjoy those times I have the opportunity to run with a friend.
I don't do stretches before I run; stretching cold muscles can injure them. I do a 5-minute warm-up walk and a 5- or 10-minute cool-down walk at the end. After my run, I do several stretches (hamstrings, quads, "pigeon fold" yoga pose, and shoulders).
As for advice? Get fitted for good shoes at a running store. Don't push too hard too soon, lest you re-injure yourself. Go slower than you think you can. And have fun with it!
|179 Days until: Chicago Marathon