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  • Your first (half) marathon is the most cherished one. Ironically, it’s also your slowest!
  • I ran a half-marathon at the Indianapolis Marathon today, 19 October, 2013 in 2:18:56.
  • Running a half-marathon = 13.1 miles = 21 kilometers sounds like the craziest idea until you actually run it. After that it seems trivial.
  • It was good to have Jacob and Ryan run the 13.1. Qi ran the full marathon; bow to thee, master! Tianyang’s support in cheering us was invaluable.
  • A 81-year old lady completed the 13.1 in just over two and a half hours. Highly impressive. Humans are crazy!
  • I liked the way the marathon was organized. Fully planned, everything taken care of including parking and restrooms. The concept of time tracking by a tracker attached to the shoe was amazing. I’m impressed with technology.
  • There was so much energy in the atmosphere that you just couldn’t get tired, stop. People cheering, runners discussing their past and future marathons, volunteers offering water and energy drinks, loud music.
  • All this excitement made me forget the bad weather, it was 5 degrees (Celsius of course), windy and raining.
  • A lady had “13.1 on my 30th birthday” printed on her shirt. I wished her a happy birthday! There were some people from Lafayette, we had a “Go Boilers!” exchange.
  • There were volunteers encouraging us to keep going. Randomly, I would tell them they’re doing a great job cheering us 🙂
  • I was hoping Jacob, who was ahead of me would cross me and I’d wave to him saying, “*How* is it going?”!
  • I was in extreme pain after crossing the finish line, but knew I had made history (at a personal level, in the least).
  • There’s only one key to completing the run, don’t think about running, don’t count the miles, don’t calculate your pace — Just RUN!

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Tailpiece:

October 2012 : Biked from Bloomington to Purdue for Habitat for Humanity, 125 miles in 2 days

October 2013 : Ran a half-marathon at the Indianapolis marathon.

October 2014 : (Crazy suggestions?)

Half-marathon! Pu-Ma runners

Gian Carlo Rota’s Indiscrete Thoughts is a must-read for every budding mathematician. He’s highly opinionated and among articles like “Ten things I should have learnt as a graduate student”, one can also find short biographies of biggies like Emil Artin, Stan Ulam and Solomon Lefshetz. Below is a paragraph taken from the book.

His advisor Jack Schwartz gives Rota the task of cleaning up the tome “Linear Operators” by Dunford – Schwartz for errors, solving exercises, correcting semicolons etc. Here is Rota’s description about one of the questions he wasn’t able to solve.

It took me half the summer to finish checking the problems in Chapter Three. There were a few that I had trouble with, and worst of all, I was unable to work out Problem Twenty of Section Nine. One evening Dunford and several other members of the group got together to discuss changes in the exercises. Jack was in New York City. It was a warm summer evening and we sat on the hard wooden chairs of the corner office of Leet Oliver Hall. Pleasant sounds of squawking crickets and frogs along with mosquitoes came through the open gothic windows. After I admitted my failure to work out Problem Twenty, Dunford tried one trick after another on the blackboard in an effort to solve the problem or to find a counterexample. No one remembered where the problem came from, or who had inserted it.

After a few hours, feeling somewhat downcast, we all got up and left. The next morning I met Jack, who patted me on the back and told me, “Don’t worry, I could not do it either.” I did not hear about Problem Twenty of Section Nine for another three years. A first-year graduate student had taken Dunford’s course in linear operators. Dunford had assigned him the problem, the student solved it, and developed an elegant theory around it. His name is Robert Langlands.

About me

Abhishek Parab

I? An Indian. A mathematics student. A former engineer. A rubik's cube addict. A nature photographer. A Pink Floyd fan. An ardent lover of Chess & Counter-Strike.

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