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Old 02-07-2017, 07:40 PM
 
Location: 49th parallel
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Sounds like a great story, and congrats for persevering to get back in shape. But I wonder, is jogging really good for knees at our age? I thought that's why all those low impact aerobics got started, because they discovered that it wasn't good to put all that stress on the knees.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Originally Posted by ndcairngorm View Post
Sounds like a great story, and congrats for persevering to get back in shape. But I wonder, is jogging really good for knees at our age? I thought that's why all those low impact aerobics got started, because they discovered that it wasn't good to put all that stress on the knees.
Well, I'm no expert on the issue of knees, but I would say that unless and until one's knees are causing problems, one should enjoy jogging/running if one cares to. In my case, three times in my life I have worked through knee pain by judicious pushing on over time and the knee problem disappeared. "Judicious" means gentle pushing and not overdoing it. It means, for me, not running every day but every other day, in order to give the joints some rest. So "use it or lose it" has been an actual reality for my knees when coupled with "moderation in all things".

This may not work for everybody. I was never much of a runner during youth and middle age, so perhaps my knees still have lots of "wear" left in them? And even in my elder years, I have never aimed at running very long distances.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Idaho
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Originally Posted by cmarlin20 View Post
I cycle, less now, but 100 miles is great. I've only ridden on the San Gabriel River Trail, I found it boring, is the SART a scenic ride? I need something interesting to keep me going and plan to move south this year.

I've also known people who did the cross country ride, very good goal!
Parts of SART is fairly scenic, other parts not so much. At least it's off the streets, follows the river, and has underpasses at all the crossings, (unless there's some construction ongoing). If you want 'scenic', North Idaho is the place, (especially the Trails of the Coeur d'Alenes and the Hiawatha Trail. Centennial Trail? Parts, but not all). One of the major reasons I'll be moving to the area in a few weeks.

I went cross-country in 1995, but did it the stupid way . . . from east to west. Next time I'll do it 'right'.


.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Idaho
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Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
To Volosong: I enjoyed your story although I was sorry you had the discouraging experience. May retirement give you the extra time to stay as fit as you wish!

I,too, used to be a serious cyclist, a long time ago. I rode one triple century (300 miles) with the Los Angeles Wheelmen in 1980, I believe it was. It took me 22 and a half hours. My ex-wife and I rode from Seattle to Los Angeles in three weeks in 1978 or 1979. (It's weird I'm not even sure of the year anymore).

Edited to add: I believe you are a few years younger than I am, so you have that in your favor.
65.5, halfway to FRA. But I'm going to wait to start SS if I possibly can.

A triple century in less than 23 hours is phenomenal! You can be proud of that. Only double century I rode was in 1969 for the San Diego bicentennial celebration. This was in my last year of high school when I was in pretty good shape because I ran track-and-field in the spring and cross-country in the fall all throughout high school. That double took me about the same time you rode your triple. I'm in awe!

Funny you mention Seattle to L.A. The year after I graduated from high school, I "ran away" from home and rode from L.A., (Montrose), to Seattle. That was an adventure. Finally ran out of money, wasn't ready to go home, so joined the Navy. Just in time to partake in the 'fun and games' on the other side of the Pacific. Gotta thank Uncle Sam because that's when I developed my love for international travel. Nothing more adventurous and exciting than experiencing different cultures than my own.

p.s. Whether I "ran away" or not is debatable. I was 18 at the time, so was a legal adult. Still, I took off one day and didn't come home. Probably the worst mistake of my life, (second one was not going to nuke or electronic technician school when the Navy wanted to send me). My parents didn't know what happened to me until several months later when I called and told them I had joined the Navy.

My parents attended my boot camp graduation and afterward my mom said to me, "You know what? The Navy did for you in ten weeks what I've been trying to do for eighteen years."

.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
65.5, halfway to FRA. But I'm going to wait to start SS if I possibly can.

A triple century in less than 23 hours is phenomenal! You can be proud of that. Only double century I rode was in 1969 for the San Diego bicentennial celebration. This was in my last year of high school when I was in pretty good shape because I ran track-and-field in the spring and cross-country in the fall all throughout high school. That double took me about the same time you rode your triple. I'm in awe!

Funny you mention Seattle to L.A. The year after I graduated from high school, I "ran away" from home and rode from L.A., (Montrose), to Seattle. That was an adventure. Finally ran out of money, wasn't ready to go home, so joined the Navy. Just in time to partake in the 'fun and games' on the other side of the Pacific. Gotta thank Uncle Sam because that's when I developed my love for international travel. Nothing more adventurous and exciting than experiencing different cultures than my own.

p.s. Whether I "ran away" or not is debatable. I was 18 at the time, so was a legal adult. Still, I took off one day and didn't come home. Probably the worst mistake of my life, (second one was not going to nuke or electronic technician school when the Navy wanted to send me). My parents didn't know what happened to me until several months later when I called and told them I had joined the Navy.

My parents attended my boot camp graduation and afterward my mom said to me, "You know what? The Navy did for you in ten weeks what I've been trying to do for eighteen years."

.
Fascinating tale on multiple levels! As for your cross-country and track running and its relation to cycling, fitness is partly specific to the type of exercise. You had lots of general fitness (extra blood volume, good heart and lung function, good capillary density (up to a point) plus lots a specific fitness when you used your muscles for running. That would only transfer to cycling or swimming (or various other endeavors) up to a point. That's why triathletes need to work so hard on all three of the sports. For example an excellent swimmer has to put in a lot of time on both the running and the cycling to be a competitive triathlete.

I had been cycling only (not running or swimming) for a number of years before doing my one and only triple century, so all my fitness was connected directly to cycling; my muscles were used to doing that activity only and so they got good at it. At least that is my understanding from the reading I've done.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:04 PM
 
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My 78 yo mom swears by yoga.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Originally Posted by Luvvarkansas View Post
My 78 yo mom swears by yoga.
Yes! Great for balance, flexibility, and even strength in many ways. Good for her! I plan to go back to yoga classes after the jog-a-thon, while continuing with cardio work-outs.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Luvvarkansas View Post
My 78 yo mom swears by yoga.
I have wanted to try yoga, just gotta talk my BF into it.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:31 PM
 
Location: At the Lake (in Texas)
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Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
A person in his 40's or even 50's might be able to take a few years off from regular physical activity and bounce back fairly quickly upon resumption. But I am the poster boy for what not to do, namely taking a few years off from age 69 to 72. I had been in pretty fair shape up to about age 69, at which point I got lazy - no decision, no medical reason - I just stopped systematic work-outs. Sure, I kept walking to various errands and I kept lugging around extention ladders when doing outdoor painting, but that type of activity (while it's good for us and is so much better than nothing) is simply not enough.

I know what you must be thinking: What I did was close to the stupidest thing a person can do, as it constitutes being horribly negligent about one's own health and well-being. Well, there is no need for you to post those thoughts because I am painfully aware of the reality and I plead guilty on all counts. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Nor was it ignorance on my part; at various times in my life I have done extensive technical reading on exercise physiology and the health benefits of the various types of exercise - cardio-vascular (aerobics), resistance training (weights), balance and flexibility.

I had a dramatic wake-up call about a year ago. There is an art house cinema about four miles from me; occasionally I would walk there, see a film, and walk home. After a year or two not having done that, I walked there one day and watched the film. Then after the film I noticed there was something wrong with one knee, so I took a bus which dropped me about a mile from my house. I barely managed to walk home on the painful knee, even stopping to rest. No, it wasn't a knee problem in the medical sense - it was disuse! Use it or lose it! The knee hasn't bothered me since, but I stopped trying to walk that far and I'm now ready to resume (see below).

On January 1 (2017) I decided it was then or never if I wanted to get my life back. (I was/am 72). So that was my New Year's resolution - to prepare for an elementary school jog-a-thon on February 24. Not much time but I decided to give it a serious shot. I did some very slow jogging around the neighborhood for the absurdly short amounts of time I could manage it (like 10 minutes!) for a few days in a row, then went to the gym. The first day at the gym I walked on the treadmill for 10 minutes at 4.7 mph to warm up, then set it for a slow run (5.8 mph). I only lasted two and a half minutes! Pathetic beyond words to describe it!

But I kept showing up three or four days a week. Here are the number of minutes I was able to run slowly (5.8) at each session on the treadmill: 2.5, 3, 3, 4, 5, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 7, 6, 6, 8, 8, 10, 11. The eleven minutes was yesterday, and I have done some running at 5.9 and 6.0 mph, the latter pace being a 10-minute mile pace. The progress, alhough slow, has been its own reward and motivation. The worst thing would have been to get discouraged and quit! I knew it would be very slow at my age, especially starting from a point of essecentially zero fitness.

Guess what? I am going to participate in that jog-a-thon on February 24 with the fifth graders to whom I read aloud once a week. It doesn't matter how well or how poorly I fare in comparison to them. It will be fun, and I wlll regard it as a beginning point, not an end point, to regaining my fitness. I already feel better in general!

Don't be like me. Don't let yourself go in the first place! Almost nothing in life is more important than this. We can acquiesce in being crippled or we can do something about it. (Like my knee, for example). I am diabetic, so this is even more important in my personal case.

Thank you for this post Escort Rider. I really truly needed it right now...I have recently retired and find I am unable to enjoy the activities I want to because I have neglected my physical health...I have lost flexibility and strength just due to laziness. I am only 65 and am trying to reverse all this ... wait, I just read something: "there is no try. There is either 'do' or 'do not do' "....so, let me restate something: I WILL reverse this.
Thank you for the inspiration and best of luck to you in your ongoing quest for fitness.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
I'm there too. With me, the change in physical activity is more mental than otherwise. On one of the weekends that bracket my birthday, I take my "birthday ride". On that ride, I endeavor to ride twice my age in miles and triple my age in kilometers. A couple of years ago, that meant that my birthday ride would be 124 miles.

Planned out what I thought was an easy route, starting in San Bernardino and taking SART, (the Santa Ana River Trail), down to Huntington Beach and back. Fairly flat, but with a gentle gradient down to the ocean, then the reverse back up, but with the ocean breeze behind me to act as an assist.

As normal, I awoke that morning, dilly dallied around getting the bike ready and loaded up, getting myself ready, and driving from the Antelope Valley to the start. And as usual, I didn't hit the trail until about 11:00 in the morning! "Ah, no worries. It's August and the days are long." SART is not one, unbroken bike path the whole way. It stops at the north end of Corona/Norco and picks up on the other end.

I took a slightly different route this time through Norco. For those who don't know Norco, it is a horse town in the middle of the Los Angeles megalopolis. They like their horses . . . and hate bicycles. And, they let you know it too! Very aggressive drivers, with no regard for the safety of cyclists. Also, the roads through Norco are horrible. One dare not take their eyes off the tarmac lest they hit a pothole and get a flat.

But I made it through okay. 'Motored' on to the beach where I took about a half hour break eating lunch and chatting with another cyclist. Then I headed back toward the start point and my car. But after about an hour or so, I noticed something very disturbing. I realized that I was making more and more stops and taking longer and longer at each one. But I had to keep going. Wasn't worried about the dark because I had my lights with me.

However, as I was approaching Corona/Norco and the sun started fading into the West, I started thinking to myself, remembering earlier in the day, "Do I really want to ride through Norco in the dark?" I concluded that I didn't, and made the "Call of Shame". I called my best friend, Jane, and asked her to come and pick me up.

I was devastated! There is an actual cycling term for what I was experiencing. It is called "bonking". I had run through my ready glycogen stores and was making a greater demand on my body than it could convert fat to energy. If you wait too long, eating doesn't help. It takes time to convert food into energy and once you bonk . . . you're done for several hours if not the day. This also came at the end of a very intense summer where I was involved in a corporate challenge to see which company could rack up the most mileage. Competing against other NASA centers, I had to do my part, right?

I had made right at 100 miles that day. The next morning, I got out and rode another 24 miles in the local area, so I consider that a "win". I got my birthday mileage in within a 24-hour period. (Since that day, all my birthday rides have been measured over a 24-hour period.)

But, something snapped inside me that day. In all my life, I never had to make the "Call of Shame" before. Since that day, my mileage has fallen drastically and I can really feel the loss of fitness. Used to be able to walk up from my lab on the second floor to the management offices on the fifth floor just fine. Now? I can hardly do it without being out of breath.

Only have a few more weeks before the official retirement and I am totally expecting to kick my mileage up once I don't have to get into the Lab on a daily basis. This upcoming spring/summer will be spent in regaining a respectable level of fitness again. Eagerly anticipating the clocks changing for Daylight Savings Time.

I sure hope you're wrong on this one, ER. The grand plan is to make a cross-country ride in the summer of '18. I'm not giving up!


.
If I were you I would get checked out. What you experienced may be more than just aging.
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