I am not a big fan of Black Friday shopping. My husband always has to work, so I’ve been happily staying home online shopping in my pjs for the last several years. Well, I blinked and my girls are getting older and we are rarely able to get away due to school, soccer games, dance and my son’s vision therapy. I decided to take my daughters shopping on Black Friday and to spend the night in Orange Beach. I signed all of us up for the Kaiser Realty 5k because hey, why not?? This was my first half marathon 4 years ago and the girls ran the fun run. Auburn won the Iron Bowl 4 years ago that same day when we ran. I told the girls it would be good luck if we ran it again this year. Same race, new distance. I got us matching shopping shirts and we headed out Black Friday shopping.. Our first stop was Meggie B’s in Semmes, AL. We hit up Bass Pro Shop, Dicks, and Ulta before lunch. Then we grabbed Starbucks and headed down to Foley to Academy and the outlets. The outlets were a hot mess. Way too busy and two cars fought over our parking spot. It took a long time to get out of there. We went by Target before heading to the Wharf in Orange Beach to pick up our race packets. We shopped around the Wharf, had a nice dinner at Villagio’s, then we went see “Wonder” at the movie theater. It was WONDERful, but I admit I cried from beginning to end. We finally checked into our hotel around 9:30 and went to bed.
Kaiser Realty 5k race morning! The girls and I decided to match and wear our race shirts. The 5k didn’t start until 8:15 so I got some coffee and the girls ate breakfast in the hotel. We made it to the race by about 8 o’clock. Ready to run! Aubrynn, my oldest, is 14 and plays soccer. She’s run several 5k’s so she planned to run by herself while I would run with my Addy. She’s 10 years old and has actually been running 5k’s since she was 6. She may have gotten a little burned out and has not run one in over a year. Once the race got started, I let her set the pace. She ran for a little bit then walked. The course is really pretty with narrow paved trails. We walked more than we ran. We talked and laughed and really just had fun being together. Me and my Addy. The weather was cool but if we had been running any faster, we would have been pretty warm. My SnapChat pictures. We were almost to mile 3 and Aubrynn text to ask where we were. I told her we were almost finished! We hit the three mile marker and Addy took off! I couldn’t catch her! Check out her cute photo finish! How cute is she?? Her finish time was 43:39 and I could not have been more proud of her. She said this was the most fun she’s ever had at a 5k. So sweet. Our finish line pic! I was so tickled we got medals for the 5k!
As for my big girl, well Aubrynn had a PR of 32:18 beating her best time by over two minutes and she won third place in 14 and under AG!! She was laughing because all the kids that beat her were so little, but I was so proud that she won! This is the first race I’ve been to that had podiums like this. Aubrynn got her free cup for winning third place and we decided to head on back to Mississippi to watch the Auburn game.. and I guess most of you know they DID win the Iron Bowl against Alabama. Woo hoo!
The girls and I had such a great time shopping, eating, watching a movie, and running but most of all, we got to talk to each other uninterrupted and make special memories together. We laughed, we cried, it was so special. I am so thankful for the relationship I have with both of my daughters. I did not have this kind of relationship with my parents growing up so I’m very thankful to be so close with all of my kids. I think we may have started a new tradition! And running this race was just the icing on the cake. I hope we can make it back next year!