Reflections on my first 5k (Tornado guest post).

We’ve chatted about whether it’s OK to blog about our kids.  I asked the Child if I could blog our 5k.  She flatly informed me she was putting it on *her* as-of-yet-unnamed blog ( or  She agreed to an interview until her site is up.  Good crap I love this child.



Let’s start from the beginning.  What did you think of training for a 5k? Was it fun Running for a Better Oakland

It was kind of fun when we did silly things like high knees and side running. I didn’t like when people yelled: Run slow, but don’t stop!!! It made me want to stop. (Carla-note: She’s her mother’s daughter.  I hate encouragement.)

Rumor has it your mom was excited about the expo to purchase stuff she didn’t need.  Was the expo as you anticipated?

No.  It was boring except that Susan went with us.  I thought there would be more kid stuff like shoes and tee shirts.  I wanted a backpack drink thing (Carla-note: Camelbak) but my mom said no.

Susan=FUN Expo=NO.

Susan=FUN Expo=NO.

Could you sleep the night before or were you too excited? Was it hard getting up early to run?

I had softball so I was really tired. I slept great. I always get up early. I always have to get up at 530 so I have time in the morning to play with my mom (Carla-note: Yep. She said that. I’ve tried to clarify. Repeatedly.) so it didn’t feel early.  I was excited because I went over with my friends and met other friends there.

What happened when you arrived at the race start? 

My mom went to the potty a million times (Carla-note: truth.).  We watched some of the other runners start their races.  My mom danced, too.  It was a little embarrassing because she chased me around.  It was to the song We’ve got the fun (Carla-note: The song was We’ve got the funk.  That Susan recorded/I had no idea may be my FAVE part of the day.  The Tornado’s face is priceless.)

Were you eager to run?

I was really excited to start.  There were so many people I held my mom’s hand so I didn’t lose her.  Once we started it was fun.  I ran as fast as I could until I got tired.  Then I walked some.  It felt long.  I couldn’t believe when I saw a sign that said ONE MILE because it felt like I’d run for a week.  My mom ran with my friend Madison and I walked with Madison’s mom and then we switched.

What was the best part of the race?

Seeing the finish line. I ran as fast as I could at the end.  At first I didn’t think I got a medal, but then we saw all kids get medals.  I was really glad.  I wore my medal and my number to school and told everyone about Running for a Better Oakland in our Morning Meeting.



Now that it has been a few days—do you think you’ll do another race?

My mom asked me if it was thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle.  I said thumbs up but tiring.  I’m going to run with my mom in her half marathon. (Carla-note: She has no conception of how long a half-marathon is, but she is coming to Napa.).

Any final thoughts to share?

(she scampered away, came back later and handed me the below.)


And you?

The Tornado wonders*:

  • Have you run a 5k with or without a child-sidekick? Was your experience like mine?
  • Do you hold your pee or use the porta-potty like my mama?



*Carla note: as evidenced by the second query the questions are completely the Tornado’s own.


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  1. says

    so glad you enjoyed your 5K! i haven’t done a 5K with a child yet, but we hope to take our friend’s 4 year old to color me rad this month. i have learned to embrace the porta-a-potty (in most instances). i certainly agree that the smell bad – you learn to hold your breathe. can’t wait to read your next post or your blog! have a happy day!

  2. Runner Girl says

    Go Tornado!!!!
    And love the dance moves, Mama.
    I will use those before my next race :)

  3. says

    This is SO adorable!!! SO glad it went for you! I am an elite runner, and would be happy to give you some tips if you would like for the future. Just send me a message :)

    I love seeing kids follow their parents, and truly enjoying running because they want to, not because they are made to. This was so precious, and I cant wait to see her blog in the near future! I hope my children want to run!

  4. Talia says

    I’ve followed you two through this and have signed my twins up to do a fun run with me this weekend because of it.
    I love how you go and have FUN and that’s all it’s about.

  5. Judi says

    What a fantastic interview!! As to the tornado’s question — port-a-potty (but take a deep breath before you enter).

  6. says

    Great post. Can’t wait for you to get your own blog. I still remember my first race even after all these years. And sometimes the first mile still feelslike a week! I’ve never run with a child sidekick but I have taken my mom with me to races. She always hasfun. And I’m OK with portapotties I’ve learned to deal with them. Haha. Good luck w your next race.

  7. says

    My kiddo ran her first 5K last summer at age 6. She immediately began asking when she could run 26.2 with me. She has no idea how far that really is.

    Huge congrats to you and Tornado! Well done, ladies!

  8. says

    I love every part of this!!!! She is so proud of herself!!! And great moves there Carla! I’ve run twice with my nieces (with my oldest in the BOB). My sister took the more laid back one and I took the competitor…it was an awesome experience watching her push herself to run longer and longer(even though my daughter was heckling while riding in the jogger)….and seeing that finish line was priceless!

  9. says

    LOVE!!!!!!!!! Man she is her mom’s kid! :) I did 5ks in my late 20s/early 30s. My knees started to hurt cause I was too competitive in them & wanted to run fast. I actually placed in a few for my age… I stopped the racing part after the knees said no. For me it is about long term & did not want to go there PLUS I never really fell in love with it like so many runners. It was more of a challenge for me. :)

    You crack me up!

  10. susan says

    Dear Tornado,
    I just did my first 5K as well. I agree that when I saw the mile 1 marker, I felt like I had run a week.
    But, now that I’ve accomplished it, I’m excited to try again. And my kids are excited to run with me. We are starting with a family fun run.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences,

  11. says

    LOVE!!! I’ve run a few races with my kids and found it challenging to balance between encouraging and pushing too hard. My son ran a 5K on his own a few months ago and had a blast. I love understanding their concept of time and distance, they have no idea :-)

    Nothing better than a feeling of accomplishment for tackling something that seems out of reach. Good mama moment.

  12. says

    My daughter has ran a 1 mile fun run and a 5K with me. The 5K was a little challenging for her, she would run as fast as she could then she would get tired and walk. By the end, she had her daddy carry her on his shoulders. All three of us ran across the finish line togehter holding hands, which was my favorite part. This mother’s day, we are running the Run Like a Mother 1 mile fun run, then I am running the 5K while she cheers me on!

  13. Erica says

    Hi Tornado! I met you when you were 2 months old, heehee! I would love to answer your questions:

    •Have you run a 5k with or without a child-sidekick? Was your experience like mine?

    I have run about 10 5k races without sidekicks. Last Thanksgiving I asked my two sidekicks, who were born in the same country as you, and are the same age as you, if they wanted to run the “Turkey Trot” with me. They said yes. Race day was verrrrrrry cold in northern Virginia on Thanksgiving, but my two sidekicks did their best, and only complained a little. They said it felt like we were running forever. They had to slow down and walk a few times. But when they saw the finish line, they ran like the wind and finished strong! Just like you.

    •Do you hold your pee or use the porta-potty like my mama?

    44-year old ladies like me have to use the porta-potty. A lot. Even if it smells terrible. Running a 5k race would be a terrible experience if you had to hold your pee!

  14. says

    LOL!!! I LOVE this post! Love her view of the race! And no….I do NOT hold my pee! I visit that porta potty before every race! Before Saturday’s half I waited in line to pee for 30 minutes!!!

  15. says

    OMG that video of you dancing took me back to my Childhood and my Father doing things like that when my friends came over!! :)

  16. says

    You are raising the most intelligent child with such a sense of her self, it’s amazing to watch. Can’t wait to see how she feels as you keep doing a little more running with side skips

  17. says

    I used to run lots of 5k races with my son but now he is faster than I am so we run the same races and meet at the finish line! His dad is way faster than both of us so he makes sure we all find each other in the end. Those races where we ran together are done if my all time favorite moments because we talk about everything the whole way through!

    I think using the ports potty a thousand times pre-race is a mom thing! I am the same way!!

  18. says

    Love, love, love this! Congrats Tornado!

    And to answer your questions – I ran with my son in his 1st 5K last year and we had so much fun we’re running another one together this month. For the porta potties the trick is to take a deep breath before going in and then move as quickly as possible :)

  19. says

    This is awesome! I loved reading the interview and commentary by you. As you know, no kids over here yet, but I love this idea of running together! My mom biked with me in my first marathon. :)

  20. says

    Precious! Backpack drink thing=pure awesome. Thing 1 ran her first 5k last year with her friends while mama slunk around spying from behind, until she was outed and finally went on her merry way.

  21. says

    I think you did a wonderful job… not only on the 5k and putting up with your mama’s obviously embarrassing antics – BIG :) here – but also with your interview and your race report.

    Best of luck to you getting your own blog up and running and on that half marathon too.

    Now where was CHARMING when you girls were racing?

  22. Carla says

    Charming was with my Dad. He can’t run until he is one year old.
    (thanks so much to all of you for commenting. I read them ALL to her and she’s so excited.)

  23. says

    Miss Tornado!!!!! I am SUPER PROUD of you and your mom for finishing your VERY FIRST 5K ever!!

    My “tornado”– I call her Kenzer– ran her first 5K when she was your age! (she’s 10 now) She got tired in the middle and needed to walk and she felt like it was going to go on FOREVERRRRRRR– but then she saw the finish line in the distance and just KNEW she could do it. (Plus she was excited because the had chocolate chip muffins at the end) :)

    Great job kiddo!!!

  24. says

    I have NOT run a 5K, but I walked Bay to Breakers. (7.5 miles?) It was long and my feet hurt something awful at the end.

    I neither held my pee or peed all the time! I think I honestly didn’t need to pee that morning! It was so much FUN that I walked around giving off a happy buzz for about 3 days afterward.

  25. says

    I saw this in my Facebook feed this morning, and have been dying to read it ever since. The Tornado’s report did not disappoint. This made me so happy (like its ridiculous!). I love her spirit so much.

    One day I long to have a little running sidekick just like the Tornado! Can’t wait to hear how her half marathon goes tehe!

  26. says

    I’ve run one 5k with a child and it was a Halloween race. I think seeing costumes was the only thing that kept her moving. I’m running a second one with her (same child) at the end of the month for Girls on the Run! Hopefully her friends help her stay motivated!

  27. Priscilla says

    We loved your race report Tornado!! Margaret and I now both want to do one. Even though we don’t like running. The potties are icky – I agree – and I hold my nose if I have to use one.

    Maybe we can all meet and do a fun race together one day.

    Priscilla and Margaret

  28. says

    So glad you enjoyed your first 5k, Tornado! I have 3 kids all around your age. They started running 5K’s with me when they were 4, 5, and 6. Now they are *almost* 8, 9, and 10.

    I think we’ve done at least 20 5K’s together. We’ve lost count. But this one was their favorite!

    They love to get muddy and what’s better than running through mud??

    I don’t hold in my pee. I go to the stinky port-a-potty at least 3 times before any race. My kids will hold it. They hate the port-a-potties.

    My daughter’s want to do a 1/2 marathon with me. But that’s really far. I don’t know if I could do another 1/2 marathon. Lots of training.

    Keep running, and keep writing!


  29. says

    I cannot wait until the blogging baton gets passed from mother to daughter!

    This is the best race recap I’ve ever read. :)

  30. says

    I love this interview! Great job, Tornado!

    To answer your questions:
    1. I’ve done many, many races (37 in all, mostly 5k) and my daughter, Emma, has joined me for I think 5 of them. She doesn’t really like to train, which means that we walk a lot which is perfectly fine with me. It helped me realize that I don’t actually like to run so thanks to her I’ve decided that I will walk all my races from now on. Our experiences are pretty similar to yours, right down to me having to pee a lot before races. :)

    2. Please reread the last sentence in answer #1.

  31. says

    Ya know I LOVE this! And for the Tornado: I have a 9-yr. old daughter and she and I have run a few 5ks together. Sometimes they are hard, sometimes not so hard. But no matter what, running with her is one of my very favorite things in the world to do. I know your mama enjoyed her 5k because you were by her side!

  32. says

    I love this!!! And your dance? Awesome!

    I’ve done a couple of 5ks with my boys. They aren’t a fan of running from one point to another (running at the playground or in a sport is apparently different), but they did a great job on the last one, mostly because they wouldn’t let the man with the chihuahua beat them…

  33. says

    Tornado is so articulate! In 2 weeks, we’re doing a 10K as a family, but Shark Boy has outgrown the jogging stroller (in terms of experience, more than physical size, but a little of that too). He wants to be able to exit and run too, for short stretches, but I don’t want to have to stop every 2 minutes for the switch. I’m hoping we can bribe him/keep him engaged and maybe let him finish the last couple hundred meters on foot.

  34. says

    I did a girls on the run 5K with one of my team members (I was a coach) and it was nice to not care about your time! We just ran when she wanted, walked when she wanted, and had fun cheering on our teammates!

  35. says

    I loved this – the Tornado did a great job on the raced and the interview!!!
    Maybe a few more races and the camelback will be necessary:)
    Umm….I need your mom to show me a few dance moves – I think that my boys would LOVE to see me dance like that especially around their friends – fun stuff.
    The finish line is always the best part of the race!!
    And – porta pottys are pretty stinky but they are necessary at a race for sure (especially when you are the age of your mom and I).

  36. says

    I love that she shared her thoughts. I work with Girls On The Run as a coach and it is a blast to watch the kids run their first…. or even multiple 5k. Their faces filled with excitement at the start and exhaustion and joy over what they accomplished at the end makes it all the more enjoyable as a mentor to each one of them.

  37. says

    She is seriously one of the coolest kids ever – evidence that she has a super cool Mama! I also think the porta potties smell bad, Tornado, but I HAD to use one at my half marathon twice (once before the start, and once at Mile 4) AND they didn’t have hand sanitizer. Yuck. Thank goodness my Mama is a nurse and always keeps some on her :)

  38. says

    I love that you’ve captured her first 5K thoughts. I wish I had captured my own from long ago.

    My little guy has done kids races and now is ready for his first 5K too. It’s amazing to see a love of fitness and exercise being passed down. Honestly, no one ever did that for me!

    Tornado, never lose that love of fun when it comes to exercise, it’s what makes doing it a lifelong thing you WANT to do, not HAVE to do.

    Congrats and wear that medal everywhere.

    PS – I hope you frame that bib. My little one has his 1st one framed in his room and it gives him pride to see it and tell others about it.

  39. says

    What a great recap by the Tornado!! I absolutely love the final note –> I felt that I could win. Don’t ever lose that! My mom still asks me if I won the race and I just tell her, well, they gave me a medal!

    Hold the nose & pee in the potty lest you pee down your leg for lack of a potty on the course. Yep, it’s happened.

  40. says

    Love this! So many gems, and I totally get the feeling of running forever and then seeing that 1 mile marker! I think your new business model may involve being Tornado’s agent!

  41. says

    I’m a kid (28 is still at kid, right?) and I’ve done a few 5ks with my mom! One time we dressed up in tutus and did the race! It was a lot of fun!

    And I totally hold it! Port-a-potties are stinky!

  42. says

    This is my favorite interview that I’ve read all year. It makes me want to get out there and RUN. Or at least read more blog posts about running.

  43. Janet says

    Great job Tornado! My daughter Ella, who’s just a tad older than you, and I ran our first 5K in December and it was called the Jingle Bell 5K (we live in Arlington, VA). The race was in conjunction with Ella’s “Girls on the Run” group, so she had been training for many weeks before. As you can imagine, it gets cold in December on the East coast, so that was one of the major complaints. Also, we walked at different times, too, but had a strong finish! Unfortunately, Ella doesn’t want to continue with Girls on the Run and that makes me sad, but who knows, maybe she’ll pick-up running again one day. Keep up the good work you’re doing with mom in Oakland! P.S. I can’t wait for your blog to start!

  44. says

    Olivia has her blog, but as of right now, I have it set to private – only meant for family. One day I may open it up, but at 7 years old, I think she’s a but young. Who knows.

    I am so glad she loved her first 5K. Now, about that triathlon!

  45. says

    Wow i have never been to 5K’s but after reading your article will definately take a plunge.Thanks so much for this Sweet and Truely inspiring article and keep Bringing more cheers in your Life