When Ellen was a senior at Harvard, she went over to Albany, NY to run her first 10K road race. That night, I visited her dorm room to see how the race had gone. Forced to make a prediction, and knowing that she had loads of talent, I guessed she had run 36:40. "Not a bad guess," she said, "you're off by only 3 minutes."
"39:40," I said, "I thought you would run faster than that." And if you think that comment was tactless, keep reading. "No," she replied, "33:40."
Unfortunately, the next words out of my mouth were, "must have been short." As it turns out, the course was not short, she really did run 33:40, and she reminds me of that story virtually every time I talk with her.
Ellen eventually went to Law School at the University of Colorado and is
married to Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena.