If you have an mp3 player, I'm pretty sure that there are podcasts for the C25k or similar running programs. So, instead of having to check a watch, you can just listen and the podcast will tell you what to do. Or, if money isn't an issue, buy a good running watch that you can program intervals in to. I have a Garmin (GPS) that I love, and I can program intervals into it. The GPS is pricey though, so you should probably make sure that you'll get your money's worth out of it before investing.
As for shoes, they are SO important. Between your shoes, and properly starting up, those two things can go a LONG way toward preventing injury. Go to a local running store (NOT a general sporting goods store). Preferably one that does video analysis on a treadmill. They will put you in a pair of shoes, have you run in them, and then look at the video to make sure the shoe is properly supporting your foot. Also, a good running store will stand behind their fitting so if you get out there and the shoe just isn't working well for you, they'll almost always exchange it, no questions asked. You will probably pay a little more for a shoe this way, but it's really worth it to get the RIGHT shoe and avoid injury. And once you find a shoe you like, you can always look for other sources (internet) that may be cheaper.
Good luck, and feel free to come join us over on the Dingo thread...lots of support, chatting about running, and just chatting in general!