I ran my first race today. Last fortnight, my sister visited me here and we saw Chicago, New York and Boston. (Reminds me, I should email mom our sojourn photos). For all the fabulous restaurants we dined in these places, I gained about 6 pounds, making this running after the hiatus much difficult.

But still, I had been running for the past week. Had been trying to get myself back in shape, training for the Indianapolis marathon I’ll be running in October. (Well, it’s technically a half-marathon but a marathon achievement for me anyways.) My friend Alex had invited other Math friends (we’ve been calling ourselves the Purdue-Mathematics runners, or the PuMa-runners) for a 5k race along the Wabash trail. So here we were, Alex, Andrew (Ritchie) and me in the registration for this race.

A few things need to be narrated. My race bib had the number 777! Cool, given that I’m a number theorist and also actually love numbers (the two being mutually exclusive). I started out fast and quickly exhausted myself so the way back was extremely painful. Here’s a note to self for the future marathon: I should conserve energy and burst only towards the end.

Now when I was close to the finish line, I almost gave up and started walking. There was a girl running behind me. I calculated that I’d let her pass me and trail her. Imagine my surprise when instead, she started trailing me. We both then sprinted our way to an elegant finish! (I think I experienced some sportsmanship spirit they say about the marathons at this moment).

Timed 28:03 for a 5k run.

Definitely my fastest ever.

Now the best part about running your a-off is that you can relish all the sweet and high-calorie stuff without guilt. Let us see how the preparation for the half-marathon goes. I’ll keep you posted about my preparation in the next four months.

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Tailpiece: The new US-231 highway which is still under construction has been a good spot for runners and bikers this summer. Last month  there was some construction work going on and I was running along the corner of the road. As it happens, it was just ‘constructed’ so I put my feet and my whole body weight in the wet cement and came crushing down in that concrete pool! It was a plight. Fortunately a worker gave me a water-hose to wash off the cement on me and a few others came to re-build the road. (How amazing would it have been to just keep it as it were – with my feet in it – as a memento!) So that adds another little feather in the cap of extreme running adventures I’ve had, like the ice run, or the run when I swallowed a bug or the one after my jaw fracture.

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Edit (22/6): I ran another race last week and the current personal best (for 5k) is 26:15. Official results here. Pretty fast I’d say. Go me!

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