Monthly Archives: September 2014

My Teen and I Ran The Color Run: Small Steps Yield Positive Attitudes


My 13-year old daughter and I are on a mission:  to eat healthier, move our bodies more and focus on what we like about our bodies, instead of what we dislike. 

Okay, I added that last one to our list because a good friend pointed out that I sometimes point out my own flaws within earshot of my kids.  And it’s not helpful to tell my daughter to focus on her long legs and beautiful, thick hair instead of the “man-feet” she thinks she inherited from her dad or the round face she got from me ~ if she hears me complaining about my marionette smile lines and lifeless hair. 

I do have good intentions, however, which is why I decided to sign us both up for a 5K Color Run.  The Color Run is essentially a 3 mile untimed run/walk where participants get splashed with tons of color along the route. Our Color Run was organized by the elementary school PTO where I work, so young, enthusiastic children and their families and teachers would make up the bulk of the runners and spectators. What’s not to like about a Color Run?

My daughter was horrified when I broke the news to her.  You didn’t even ask me!  Why would I want to get up early on a Sunday morning and run a race?  No!

I have two other teenagers and I’ve learned that it helps to remain calm when my kids are being disagreeable.  And so I backed off.  I told her she didn’t have to come.  I told her she was off the hook because her dad agreed to run with me. Then I spotted her eyeing the two pouches of colored powder and the two white t-shirts that I was told we could douse prior to the start of the race. 

Then magically, she was all over the idea of doing the Color Run.  My plan was to walk the entire route. No, she begged, we need to try running. I haven’t run for years, but who am I to complain? She’s into it!

Young children ran around splashing each other with color prior to the start time, and suddenly my 5’7” daughter was throwing fistfuls of green powder at me.  My skin reminded me of Shrek.  I threw my yellow powder back at her.  It was in our hair, under our fingernails, all over our clothes and shoes. We were having fun.

Neither of us would tell you it was an easy 3 mile run.  We’d run the distance of three telephone poles then walk.  Then we’d run until we got to the water stops and take a quick break.  And we both agreed to step it up a notch when we approached the volunteer squads who pelted us with even more color.  At the end, we were greeted by others who felt the same elation at having finished a race.  My daughter even told me right away she was glad she had decided to come. We were a sweaty, colorful, happy mess.

Sarah (on our messy ride home):  We should do the Turkey Trot.   (a popular 5K run in our town).

Me (pleasantly surprised): That would be awesome.


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To find a Color Run in your area, click on: