The funny aspect of this particular pacing experience was carrying Shelley's heavy training shoes in my hands while she ran in her racing flats. Then we she finished, we promptly switched back to her 5 lb orthotic-laden trainers. I even managed to grab her a few cups of water while not dropping said shoes. I consider that a good success in addition to the PR.
The real story, though, is the toughness on display. I have a great track record with my pacing mostly because I am so highly selective when it comes to who I pace, basically only badasses. Shelley was kind of freaked out about starting out too fast so I got her going at a very reasonable pace for her fitness level based on her most recent 10k. Then I went to work ratcheting down the pace over the course, trying to key off her body mechanics to provide feedback. Shelley didn't talk much and wasn't breathing super heavy but I got in tune with how she was doing and I knew she was feeling the stretch by 4 and definitely by 5.
It's cool to see friends achieve something just by being there by their side to hold space. I find it a lot like helping someone move. While the logistics of a move are always chaotic and the effort of each helper for the most part seems insignificant, just being there to help someone through a moment of transition, a key race, or a tough time, that is the cornerstone of friendship.
I tried to get Shelley to rally for a 9am sculpt class which we could have made but she was a no go, she wanted to get her medal for 2nd in her age group and I think she earned that. Then we got coffee, I went to noon yoga, and crashed out on the couch for the remainder of the day with my furry friend and a few movies. Sometimes a holiday is best spent doing next to nothing and such was my 4th of July.