February 20, 2008

Running is not killing me… work is.

I wrote half of this yesterday, but with work being crazy, finished it and am posting it today. I’ll try to post something else later today to make up for my lapse.

Because I’m such a good little Millenial (really interesting article here), I call my mom everyday and have a very close relationship with her. However, before I go any further, I’d like to clarify a few things.

My mom does not:

  • Provide me with any money. Though she would in a heartbeat if I was in trouble and asked for it.
  • Call my work, or in fact, know anyone at my job. Except my friends that I’ve introduced her to.
  • Pick out my outfits for me. Though before I started work, we went shopping together and she helped me decide which suits were nicest.

However, my mom does:

  • Always want to know my friends’ phone numbers if I’m going to visit them in a different city. I have stopped providing her with this information since the time she didn’t check her voicemail to find the “I’m okay” message I left after traveling, didn’t hear from me for 24 hours, and then called my friend Adam to ask him to have me call her. It was pretty embarrassing when Adam asked, “why does your mom have my phone number?” Especially because she didn’t even have Adam’s phone number from that trip (since she hadn’t listened to my voicemail to get it)… it was saved somewhere from when I had visited Adam six months earlier. (Note to self: find mom’s list of my friends’ phone numbers and take it away from her).
  • Always want to know what flights I’m on and here I’m staying when I travel on business. If I gave her the hotel concierge’s number, she would be thrilled. Instead, I try to be as vague as possible, because I do notwant the concierge to get a call asking to have me call her.

I guess our relationship does make me a pretty stereotypical Millenial, as much as I like to think I’m independent.

Anyway, how all this relates to fitness: my mom drives me absolutely nuts with her “help” on diet and exercise. Anytime I do any kind of intense exercise, I get pretty proud. However, she always deflates me by nagging at me to eat more or rest for a while. I know the importance of eating enough to fuel your workouts, and I know that it’s important to rest so your body can recover. But I hate it when she acts like she knows best and ascribes any problem I may have to my fitness regime.

Take today. I was up till 2 AM doing work, and got up at 6 AM to do more. (As I said, this is kind of a crazy week for me work-wise). When I called my mom in the cab on the way to work, she remarked that I sounded tired. I agreed. Her next statement? “It must be from the 15 miles you ran on Sunday. You should really take a break for a week.” I know it was a seemingly innocent comment, but I got so mad at her for that. I ran 15.5 miles! I want admiration and congratulations for that, not advice to stop working out for a week. She knows I’m thinking about doing a marathon, so running 15.5 miles is not really a good excuse to stop running for a while – if I did that, I would never be ready for a marathon.

When I tried to explain to her that it might be more about the 4 hours of sleep and 13 hours in a conference room with no windows staring at my laptop, rather than the run I did on Sunday (and that I actually felt completely recovered from my run), my mom couldn’t comprehend that. Clearly it is my terrible decision to exercise and eat healthy that is causing me to be tired. Never mind that my coworkers have stopped me to ask me for advice on how to be so awake and alert and healthy-looking compared to them… it is of course not my job that causes me to be tired.

To give another example, my mom came to visit for my first half-marathon. Afterward, she kept telling me to eat, and eat, and eat. (My mom is not Italian). If she had her way, I would have eaten 3000 calories to make up for the 1300 or so I burned! I’ve heard from many runners that they’ve gained weight in training, and I think it’s due to exactly that. So – I eat what I’m hungry for. That day I had an apple and a Nutrigrain bar the second the race ended, then went to brunch and had a huge crab-mushroom-asparagus omelette and a popover with strawberry butter (if you are from Manhattan, you must hit up Popover Cafe, which is my fav brunch spot). I later had lunch and dinner (don’t remember what, but nothing special or particularly heavy/light). Meanwhile, my mom left around 3 PM, and spent the rest of the night calling to check on me. What had I eaten? I should eat more. Had I napped? I should go to bed at 5 PM. Had I taken the next day off work to recuperate?

Okay, I’m exaggerating about that last one, but she did continue calling me with these types of questions for the next two days. I was fortunate to be on a very easy, low-burn project at the time, so I always sounded perky and well-rested when she called, but if I hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have been surprised if she came back down to New York to nurse me back to health from my foolish decision to run a half-marathon. What’s interesting about all this is, my mom actually used to run when she was younger. I think the most she raced was a 15K, but you would think she could understand that running long distances does not kill you.

On the plus side, she doesn’t make me run in a helmet. At least, not yet.


7 thoughts on “Running is not killing me… work is.”

  1. I hear you, Laura on the motherly advice. My mom knows I run and run half’s (she keeps our daughter for us to do the weekend trips), but last month I did a half in Phoenix, and she asked me after it was over “how was your triathlon”. I’m glad she knows triathlon has to do with fitness too, but come on….

    I get similar comments, but not about eating. My mom knows I should try to loose weight. Maybe she just thinks that all this fitness will make me loose waits and keeps waiting for it.

    I hope your job lets up soon so you can relax some! Thanks for the comments on my blog. much appreciated. 🙂

  2. I just realised something – I don’t think my Mom really cares that I run. LOL. I’m not sure what is worse?

    Hope things ease off at the office, rest well mate!

  3. Well, I can see both sides. Yep, I know how annoying it is to have a parent volunteer unsolicited “advice”. On the other hand, now that I have kids of my own, I find myself giving my kids unsolicited “advice” because I love them so much and sometimes I think I know what’s best for them (in the case of my three year old, I’m usually right; “Pooping in your pants is NOT going to be pleasant so listen to me when I say you need to go poopy on the toilet!”)

    I think it’s awesome that your mom obviously loves you so much and is still worried about you. It’d probably hard to do, but maybe it would pacify her if you said “yeah, I’ll rest more/eat more after my next race/long run”. Even if you have no intention of doing so, it’ll make her feel better and she’ll never have to know the difference. Unless your mom reads this, that is.

  4. I had to laugh at the part when your mom wants to know flights/hotels/cities you are traveling to. My dad was obsessed when I first started traveling 6 years ago. It quickly died off. Hang in there with mom. You know what you need to do to be healthy but I can see how that can drive a kid batty!

  5. Just wanted to post a quick update: I love my mom dearly. Though she does drive me nuts at times, I understand that she’s trying to help, and I do appreciate it (most of the time).

    And Topher, my mom will probably not be given a link to this blog as long as it remains titled “Absolut”ly Fit and chronicles some of my drunken adventures 🙂

  6. I think we have the same mother. The night before the San Diego marathon, she was calling me (via the hotel phone number that I had to provide for her, lest she involve the SDPD to learn of my whereabouts), telling me that if I got tired I should just stop.


  7. One time, my mom actually did involve the NYPD to find me. I was working on costumes for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and on Thanksgiving Day, worked from 3 AM to 1 PM. My plan was to stay in NYC that day, return home either later that night or early the next morning, and our family was going to celebrate Thanksgiving a day late.

    When I got home from the parade, I immediately went to sleep. My phone was on vibrate and I was exhausted, so it didn’t wake me when my mom called 9283497 times. I was still living in a dorm then, and by 4 PM when my mom hadn’t heard from me, she called NYU security and an RA went up to see if I was home. I lived in a triple, but my bed was around a corner in the room, so the RA only checked the two beds and reported that I wasn’t there. When I woke up at about 10 PM that night, I discovered that there were police at Grand Central and Poughkeepsie (the MetroNorth station I get off at when heading home) who were all on alert. Thanks, mom.

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