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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

View Poll Results: Are You "In Shape?"
Yes, I am really in shape. 37 35.58%
I am working on it, almost there. 27 25.96%
I have started, about 1/2 way there 20 19.23%
Just getting going 10 9.62%
Please don't ask me to climb any hills. Downhill is all I can do 1 0.96%
I don't care about being "In Shape" It's all about smelling the roses 2 1.92%
Something else? Tell us below. 7 6.73%
Voters: 104. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-17-08, 10:42 AM   #1
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50+'rs - Do You Feel Like You Are "In Shape?"

It's been at least 5 minutes since I posted a poll, so here goes:

50+'rs - Do You Feel Like You Are "In Shape?"

Finally, after working hard at it, I feel like I am getting "In Shape?"

By "In Shape," I mean, subjectively, whatever that means to you.

To me, it means I can climb hills without huffing and puffing, go longer distances and times, and recover quickly.

I have been doing a lot of swimming, cycling, walking and weight lifting, and, somehow, it seems to have come together this week.

So, are you "In Shape?"

What does "In Shape" mean to you?

Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-17-08 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 06-17-08, 10:58 AM   #2
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I don't consider myself to be 'really in shape' but I would consider myself to be in better shape than 97% of all 54 year olds on this planet.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:01 AM   #3
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I have a shape, albeit a somewhat rounded one.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:03 AM   #4
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I guess I'm getting there. I climbed a hill Sunday that has been tough for me in the past, with less huffing and puffing than usual.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
I don't consider myself to be 'really in shape' but I would consider myself to be in better shape than 97% of all 54 year olds on this planet.
...and in MUCH better shape than I've been since the Nixon administration...
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Old 06-17-08, 11:08 AM   #6
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"In shape" is being able to ride where I want in the manner I want. I will never be in race shape but there are hills that I must be able to climb and certain speeds that I must be able to maintain to be happy.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:16 AM   #7
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When I say in shape I compare my self to most other folks my age. And I know I'm in better shape than some people 25 years younger than me, I feel pretty good about that. If my ankles and knees were the same as 25 years ago I'd be stoked!
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Old 06-17-08, 11:20 AM   #8
Time for a change.
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Reckon I was in shape for the type of riding I do but I have otherwise been engaged with trying to avoid a Cricket Bat. (The taste of which I was promised if the wifes pool was not up and running by the end of May.)

Pools built but in the last 3 weeks I have only got in a 22mile ride on the flat. Sunday did a ride that should have been "Easy"- a 54 miler with only one hill in it. It wasn't. Forearm caused me a problem that I had to accomodate- That made me feel the saddle by the end of the ride and if I hadn't been knocked off going up the hill- I might have noticed a rare plant on the roadside that just had to be photographed- Even if it meant stopping to do it. It got through to me that I am not as fit as I should be at this time of the year.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

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Old 06-17-08, 11:47 AM   #9
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I'm back to where I was 2 years ago. Now trying to better it. I'm now averaging 16-17mph on my 20-30 mile solo rides, where last year I was in the 14.5-15.5 range. ( Had a mild heart attack in May 2007.) For a 56 year old fart, I'm not doing too bad. So I'm definitely making progress. Need more time in the saddle to get better.
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Old 06-17-08, 12:12 PM   #10
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I don't think of physical conditioning as an on/off condition. On a scale of 1-10 for me I am now about a 2 or 3. Last year at this time I was at 10 and it has been all downhill since then. I am still riding 100-150 miles/week but I keep finding excuses to take 2 or 3 weeks off to go on vacation or play tennis. I plan to float along through the summer and fall. Will begin to focus next winter on a program for another long tour. There is no way that I could stay focused to maintain a 10 for very long. It pretty much takes up my whole life to do that.
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Old 06-17-08, 12:19 PM   #11
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My goodness, if I compared myself to most 50+ year olds I know, I am now 17!! I can ride 80 miles without a problem, ride hills with moderate comfort. I'm within 5 pounds of ideal and still love and am loved by my wife. What better shape could I want!
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Old 06-17-08, 12:24 PM   #12
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I have to admit that I'm in shape. I weighed 188 when I ran track in college. I weighed 189 this AM. Over the past year I lost about 40lbs and have started to get competitive while riding by doing group rides and racing. Last Thursday my wife and a couple of women, she teaches with, went to see the 'Sex in the City' movie and came back to our home afterwards to have a drink or two. They were all at the house when I got back from racing in a TT and was still in my "team kit". It was an awkward but telling moment being caught in my riding clothes hearing the comments from the ladies and request for more drinks. The movie really seemed to pump them up! After I changed into shorts and a T shirt one of the women said "the show's over and now I have to go back home to chubby old Dean". So, even though I don't win any races at least I have the eye of some 50 somethings.
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Old 06-17-08, 12:26 PM   #13
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Voted 'almost there' because at this particular point in time I'm reasonably comfortable with where I'm at, and know damned well that what life's throwing up at me lately and the time I have available to ride and engage in other physical recreations makes it unrealistic for me to be anywhere else just yet. That'll more than likely be revised downwards within a year or so.

Right this minute, for example, a Metric Century or longer ride would probably stagger me, but I know full well that it'd only take me a week or three of practice and preparation to get back to that. But I also know full well that I'm potentially capable of more strenuous stuff than just a few hours of rather leisurely riding, and I'll most likely set my sights on such goals within the next year or two, when the time is right to do so.
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Old 06-17-08, 12:59 PM   #14
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Started at it hard in Nov. of '07 and have been doing what I consider to be well up until the last couple of weeks. Here are some of the excuses, and they are just that, excuses. Business commitments, then some business travel (eating poorly, only sporadic exercise etc.), some family and other social commitments.

But before that, dropped about 13 lbs.,put over 500 miles on the bike, gym or other exercise 5-6 days per week, oatmeal in the morning, eating very sensibly.

And the bible.........."YOUNGER NEXT YEAR" by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry Lodge.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
I have a shape, albeit a somewhat rounded one.
Round is a shape.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:09 PM   #16
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I believe I am in the best physical condition that I have been in for 20 years (I will be 56 in July). I find I can gain weight relatively easily if I dont watch it. I finished the Tribal Sprint Triathon on June 7 (not as strong as I would have preferred, but recovered quickly). I rode 73 miles with our club last Saturday morning, the another 38 on Sunday. I feel very good, but gained a couple of pounds .
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Old 06-17-08, 01:13 PM   #17
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I had to vote "about half way there".

I was in better shape before the back and leg problems hit me a couple months ago. Things have been improving - I rode 67 miles Saturday and have been able to climb hills again. I'm still working on losing another 10 pounds which should make the climbing a little easier.

If I compare my current condition to other women my age I would probably rate much higher than most even with the slightly injured leg I'm really looking forward to retirement later this year as I'll have more time to spend in the gym and on the bike

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:20 PM   #18
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I might just be, at 55 years old, in the best overall condition of my life.
Certainly, my cardiologist is awfully happy with me and that counts.
I was at the allergist yesterday having my asthma checked and as she checked my vitals she kind of raised her eyebrows and said "Your pulse is.... good" and kind of looked at me funny. "Yeah", I said, "I can go sit on my couch for a couple of minutes and get down to 57. It was in the 80s a couple of years ago"

Don't know about the huffing and puffing thing... I'll always do that up any serious incline, no way around it for me. And I'd like my BP to drop more... quite a bit more... but I can ride distances and climb hills I never imagined possible before. In fact, I'd never even try. I try now. That about sums it up.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:26 PM   #19
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I'm in pretty good shape now, but I'm about to undergo a big setback. I'll be struggling to survive for a while, after which I'll be tired, much lighter and working to get back to riding and living shape. I'll post another thread with the lowdown on my condition.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:41 PM   #20
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I was getting into pretty good shape and then developed a nagging pain in my right knee, IT band issue I believe. I still weigh the same as when I graduated from high school 38 years ago, so I haven't gotten fat, but I know I could be in better shape. Once I get over this knee problem, I should start improving.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:43 PM   #21
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I was in the best shape of my life from my forties through about age 60. Since then I've let things slip a little but still am in better condition than most men my age (65). This past winter has been tough on me.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:44 PM   #22
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I think I'll be in great shape if I lose about 20 pounds.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:49 PM   #23
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I don't know if I am in shape. I do know that the more I ride my bike the better I feel.
Every other day I push myself to ride hard. The days in between I just ride to enjoy the ride.
I am finding that each day I push myself that the going is not as tough when I originally began.

I don't know when I will be in perfect shape (if there is such a thing) since when I hit a plateau I try to push myself beyond that by setting new goals which challenge me more.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:56 PM   #24
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Like SKT, I'm in the best shape I've ever been. My resting heart rate is in the 40s. Unless I've kicked-in the afterburners, in-ride I average 146 when cooking along. I can ride anywhere, and any distance I point my wheel. 18% grade? No problem. Miles and miles at 7%? We can do it. A nice 45-miler before work? Do I have to stop and go to work? 20 MPH headwinds? I don't like 'em, but I can ride 'em--uphill if need be too.

I find all of this absolutely amazing. 27 months ago I couldn't climb the stairs to my apartment without huffing and puffing. My first bike ride was 2/3 of a mile--and I had to stop and rest half way. Then I needed a nap afterwards.

What I find even more amazing is that from what I've learned, if I keep at it, I'll continue to improve for another 2-3 years before plateauing. Yikes!
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Old 06-17-08, 02:02 PM   #25
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Of course I'm in shape. Everyone knows ROUND is a shape.
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