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I’m as competitive-minded as the next person (ok, maybe even a little more so!), and I
get a great thrill from passing my adversaries, earning a podium spot or racing
to a new PR. But none of these tangible victories compare to the pure joy of
helping to inspire a loved one to reach a goal of their own.

I consider myself lucky to have attended an east coast boarding school where I lived in a dorm
with 80 other girls, many of whom I will forever consider my sisters. While our
adult lives have followed immensely varied paths, and while we lost touch for a
period of time, we’ve reconnected in recent years and a core group of us
continues to nurture our bond with annual reunions.

Imagine my excitement when I learned that Nilda had become a runner, and – a born and bred
New Yorker – had completed her first marathon in the Big Apple! Over the past
few years, Nilda has often come to me for advice on various running related
issues – training, nutrition, apparel, recovery – and our common interest has
taken our friendship down a path neither of us would have predicted back in
high school. Last year we even met up in Phoenix
to run the Rock & Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon, a great race
made even more special by participating together.

Last Sunday, Nilda ran her second ING NYC Marathon, and I followed along online from home in California, cheering so
loudly she may very well have heard my screams! The next day, Nilda texted me a
short recap of her PR-setting race, the first in which she did not walk a
single step. “I am so proud. I did not stop running the entire race – not once!
I kept a constant run pace going the entire time!!! I pretended I was you.”

Not only did Nilda have a fabulous race day, she also made me cry. I’m the one who’s incredibly proud.