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How common are fitness injuries here?
Old 10-11-2013, 07:48 AM   #1
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How common are fitness injuries here?

Having found myself with lots of time I've enjoyed upping the running and then when plantar fasciitis got me added mountain biking. Was really enjoying that, took a few tumbles but always recovered.

Wednesday took a bad launch, concussion and broken collarbone. Pain meds make me barf so I've opted to do the surgery to hasten the healing, also have a trip to see grandkids in four weeks so want to be whole for that. Leaving for the surgery in an hour.

I guess I'm pretty bummed out by all of this. At 62 do I have to just go for nice walks in the woods? I know a lot of folks have serious chronic problems that make this insignificant, I just feel sort of trapped all of a sudden. I'm just curious as to who over 60 is still doing stuff that is resulting in injuries? As in, should I just give this up? Part of my being unsettled by all of this is that I have NO idea how it happened. WHAM and I was flying. After I recovered I looked for what I hit (where IS that brick wall) and found nothing, but given my addled mind I'm not surprised. I wear a Garmin so can return to the scene of the crime and will do to see what may have happened.

I just never thought 62 was too old to still be doing stuff like this, or am I crazy?
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:24 AM   #2
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Well.......I'm 63 and try to still do active stuff, but the body doesn't always cooperate. Love to run, bike, backpack but these have slowed down.

Twenty years ago I ran two marathons a year, but now a knee with too many years and miles prevents me from running on pavement so I'm limited to special tracks, grassy areas, and trails. It's not as convenient as just going out the front door for an hour. And it pretty much ended involvement in local road races except as a volunteer worker.

Then fifteen months ago developed a chronic case of Achilles tendonosis and only now able to get back into easy jogging with only mild hills. Achilles tendons have a very poor blood supply and take forever to heat.....and I was disappointed to find out that there is very little a doctor can do.

Left me with biking, I do roads with my hybrid and try to go out a couple times a week for 12 miles or so. But the weather is changing in PA, so I probably only have a month left.

And got two mild backpacks in this year.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
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You are never toold to do anything so long as yuo take the consequences of slower reflexes

I do Ju jutsu, kayaking, figure skating, taking down 80+ foot tall trees. In my 30ies did hang gliding, mostly ok, save for one minor crash and resulting broken humerus.

Choose your game and take your lumps

By the way, am closer to 65 than 64.

Did give up motorcycle a coule of years ago after nearly got wiped out by some bimbo yapping on a cell phone while stopped at an intersection. A quick burst of short acceleration saved my bacon. Day after put bike up for sale.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:36 AM   #4
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I'm 51 so I won't bother with what I'm doing other than to say I'm back doing everything I did before last year's ACL injury and reconstruction, but I ski regularly with people in their 60s and 70s, and occasionally with people in the 80s and even one who is 91. Over the last 3 years the 80+ guys have gravitated to the intermediate slopes but they still get out most days.

I also run regularly with a guy who just turned 61 and runs the Boston Marathon every year, and is doing his first 50 mile trail race next month. Another 69 yr old guy in our running club ran 2 rugged 100 milers this summer, and averages an ultra every month. A former co-worker who is about 65 regularly rides centuries, sometimes back-to-back. I just went to a dinner last night and sat with a guy in his mid 60s who mountain bikes all over and did the Tour Divide (Canada to Mexico border) a couple years ago). You're not done at 62 unless you let it happen.

Don't let an injury get you down. Do have a plan though. Make sure someone knows where you are going and when to expect you back. Carry a cell phone, and if you run or ride regularly where there is spotty cell service consider a personal locator beacon. Evaluate risks and realize maybe you can't ride all the places you used to. But I find with skiing, and it might apply to MB, that once you decide to go somewhere, don't put the chance on injury in your mind.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:38 AM   #5
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I do not think its necessary to back off from activities like this at your age, as this can happen at any age, its just that when you get older, recovery can take longer. Of course our balance and reflexes may not be the same as years gone by or if there is some other underlying medical issue, it might require a less vigorous approach.

I've been working out in the gym (resistance training) for almost 5 years and am 64 yo. During that time I suffered a rib cage pull and tweaked shoulder, but thats about it. These were nagging injuries and took a while to recover from, but I kept working out and just went lighter.

Also, started to play sr softball this year and had several hamstring pulls. My legs were always my strongest asset and never had that in the past, but after stretching and warming up a little longer, the hammies recovered.

H2O, hope you get back to being your active self and back in the saddle real soon, but no harm in being a little less daring on those rides.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:51 AM   #6
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So far I have only got scraped knees from minor tumbles and shark bites from my mountain bike pedals. Not looking forward to doing an endo on a steep trail. Doesn't stop me but is in the back of my mind. Ride enough and you will get hurt. Have gotten gashed surfing and notice that the bone bruises take forever to heal and stop bothering. Being active sports enthusiasts, we will get smacked occasionally. Not ready to hang it up yet but I guess I can see dialing it back eventually. What model Garmin do you use? I just got the basic Edge 200. Seems to meet my basic needs.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:59 AM   #7
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I've had quite a few fitness-related injuries. They range from the good ol' fashioned running injuries (sprained knee, ankle etc) to the more traumatic ones from falling off my bike, and getting hit by car while biking.
No injuries from swimming.
At 61 years of age, I'm lucky to still get close to full recovery from the injuries, but it does take longer. I'm still getting out there, but I have made some changes. More often than before, I put my bike on the car rack and drive to a nice CAR-FREE multi-use path and do my cycling there. I definitely cycle at a slower pace, especially when I do go on the streets. Regardless of the lights, stop sign, or the driver waving me on, I am very wary any time I am close to a car.
Running-wise, I've had to make allowances for my chronic bad back and my distance running days are over. Nowadays, a long run for me is 5 miles.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
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I had your same injuries at 49, just on a road bike, hit a dog. Don't let it stop you, the real pains come when you stop, and get fat and out of shape. I hurt worse now than I ever did when I was training, and it is way too hard to come back. Don't use "i'm old" as an excuse. DH is still biking about 200 miles a week. And surgery is the way to go on the collarbone - mine wouldn't heal and I waited 6 weeks before surgury which fixed it right away
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by H2ODude View Post
...(snip)...
I guess I'm pretty bummed out by all of this. At 62 do I have to just go for nice walks in the woods? I know a lot of folks have serious chronic problems that make this insignificant, I just feel sort of trapped all of a sudden. I'm just curious as to who over 60 is still doing stuff that is resulting in injuries? As in, should I just give this up?
...
Some thoughts from a 65 guy about running:
1) We will all have to give up heavy exercise at some point.
2) What's wrong with walking in the woods?
3) I run about 20 miles per week. I put rest days in between where I do gardening and other active things, like walking in the woods.
4) Consider not doing races. Used to do some of that. Now I try to just enjoy getting out. Occasionally I have interesting conversations too.
5) Consider adding a minimal set of stretches at a rest stop in the middle of the run.
6) I watch the temperature and try to get out when it is in maybe the mid 50's. Less chance of a muscle or tendon injury with warmer weather. I don't enjoy running in hot conditions either.
7) Try to avoid hard surfaces. Parks are great for softer surfaces and fun diversions of watching small creatures while exercising.
8) Record mileage so as to not get too many miles on a pair of running shoes. I retire mine at 500 miles or so, clean them up and use them as walking or gardening shoes.

Occasionally I still get strained tendons. I just take some time off and don't try to "run through" the injury.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:39 AM   #10
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My running coach started marathons at age 50. He went on to complete nearly 150 more until he died at age 78. He did have problems, but he worked through them taking a break as was medically required. He was an awesome motivation for hundreds of us.

Keep up the exercise when you can; it does the body good. Don't worry about an occasional fall. I've launched myself across many sidewalks and recovered to run again. Have fun and take care of the injury!
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:54 AM   #11
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At 62 do I have to just go for nice walks in the woods? I know a lot of folks have serious chronic problems that make this insignificant, I just feel sort of trapped all of a sudden. I'm just curious as to who over 60 is still doing stuff that is resulting in injuries? As in, should I just give this up?
Nothing wrong with a nice walk in the woods! But really, I think that you can probably do more and should. Being physically fit is really important in enjoying life as we grow older. My mother exercised until she was at least 95, maybe longer, but she did not run marathons, KWIM? She did things like lift 2-3 pound weights or go for a walk. But that makes sense for a 95-year-old. We have to use good judgment and be a little more careful about exercise than when we were younger. It is important to "listen to your body" and modify what you do accordingly.

I am 65 years old. About a week and a half ago, I passed out at the gym, hit my head, and knocked myself out. I just figured out why - - I am pretty sure it was because I omitted doing a cool down that day. I read this on the internet and it just makes so much sense to me in my case:
Quote:
Why do healthy people faint after exercising? The answer to this question is actually very interesting. When people are involved in high intensity exercise over at least several minutes, they require a LOT of blood flow to the working muscles. So the blood vessels in our muscles, especially the legs, dilate to accommodate all this increased blood. Now, our body depends on contraction of our leg muscles to push blood from the legs back up to the heart. During intense exercise our ability to maintain adequate blood pressure depends on this pumping of blood back to our heart by our legs. If you suddenly stop running, the blood return from your legs to your heart suddenly drops and so you don't have enough blood to pump to your brain--plop, down you go.
When I was a teenager, the idea of a cool down would have been utterly silly to me! I ran around and did whatever I wanted, and if I fainted then so what. But now that I am older, my body is more fragile and need to be more careful. So as of today, I am making a cool down mandatory after my workouts at the gym.
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:47 PM   #12
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I've had exercise/sport injuries throughout my life and as I approach 59 I now have a shoulder injury that is forcing me to cut back the type of exercise I do, but I will continue to exercise for as long as I can, even if the things I do have to be modified.
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Old 10-11-2013, 02:32 PM   #13
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62 here and just got done playing 18 holes of golf. Back hurts, elbow hurts but it is a small price to pay to enjoy a beautiful day on the course. I walk everyday about three miles with DW and try to stay as active as possible. Use it or lose it is so true as you grow older.
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Old 10-11-2013, 02:45 PM   #14
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I am only 36, but have a few thoughts on this based on more than 25 years of endurance athletics.

First, I've experienced everything from tendonitis in knees to a dislocated foot to leaving large chunks of skin on the road at 30mph. None of those occurred because I was too old. Some occurred because I was careless. Some occurred due to overuse. Some occurred due to pure dumb luck. It is my opinion that unless you spend your days on your couch or in a bubble, you are taking a risk of injury/illness - yes even playing golf.

The question is: is that risk worth the reward? With over 30% of our population battling (or just accepting) obesity and obesity-related illness, I will take the less than 1% chance that I get hurt today swimming.

As long as you enjoy doing what you're doing, it's worth doing it. I think everyone should find SOMETHING active to do - walk 18 holes, a long walk in the woods, lift weights, CrossFit, run marathons - whether they're retired or not. Some options are better than others, but the bottom line is that you enjoy it and your body benefits. There's little point in running if you find that it's something you have to force yourself to do. But if you're like me, and you want to see if you can go faster or longer today than you did yesterday, that's the ticket!

I am always in awe of the 60-, 70-, and even 80-something triathletes I see out there, some of whom are kicking the crap out of half of the field. I hope to be one someday!
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Old 10-11-2013, 03:28 PM   #15
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I too separate crashing/fainting (I have done this) from fitness injury.
Once you loose control it becomes a spontaneous physics experiment. Of course the best strategy is avoidance however imperfect.
My last experiment occured while negotiating a steep section on my normal trail run when suddenly and inexplicably I found myself in the Superman position. Alas, I proved to be an imposter and landed hard momentarily separating my shoulder (ouch). I also looked for that leg shaped tree root but found nothing.
I find durability/resistance to fitness injury to be highly individualistic. I have gradually become more of a cruiser with age. When riding in a pack, instead of targeting the alpha male, I scan through the lesser members looking for subtle signs of weakness.
With age comes wisdom. I have come to terms with the comment " hey he does alright for an old guy"
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:41 PM   #16
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WaterDude- I'm not in my 60s yet, but retired from compensated work 10 months back. I used to (up thru sept last year) run about 22-25 miles per week incl one long run of 8-9 miles (and up to 14 miles while I was dreaming of doing half marathons). Had some blood pressure problems in sept of last year and doc suggested I cut back, so I notched it back to 15-18. BP resolved with meds and stress reduction (i.e., ER), and I'm off the meds now. Stayed at the reduced mileage for a while but got busy working on my 2acre place and notched it back some more. Then when I was in Hawaii in April, I injured my knee...Possible partial tear in ACL and medial meniscus. Could barely walk, let alone run for weeks. Ran a few times when I was feeling better but was floored again. Stayed off it for a couple months and restarted again, slow and easy in August. I'm back to 12-16 miles a week with no long runs for a year now. I am heavy, and slow, but I feel pretty pleased that I still can pull off a 5k in less than 30 min and a 2.4k/1.5 mile in 12-13 min, even after the setbacks. Wish I was faster, wish I could go further, but I allow myself to be mostly satisfied with a run if I feel good afterwards, and don't focus too much on the numbers. Most important thing, I think, is to still feel good after every run or ride. Sometimes that means slowing down if your body and/or the conditions tell you that you must. I don't want to be presumptuous, but you may want to step back and reflect on how well you are adjusting your runs and rides to your body and the road/trail conditions. If you are already doing that effectively, my hat is off to you. I certainly didn't adjust well enough when my knee started complaining. But I know better now. Healing does take longer as we age. So increased vigilance in prevention takes on much more importance. R
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:06 PM   #17
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I'm not 60 yet, but I've suffered a lot of fitness injuries. I've experienced knee, ankle, achilles, groin, and hip injuries while running and training for marathons. I fell through the ice while ice skating and broke my ankle / sprained my knee. Torn rotator cuff while trying to dunk a basketball. Broken finger playing softball. I recovered from all of these within a normal time frame. But now that I'm 58, I can't shake lower back pain that flares up when I run. It seems that as i get older, the injuries are about the same, but I can't recover the way that I used to. So now I bike, hike and do a little resistance training. No injuries from these so far.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:12 PM   #18
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:52 PM   #19
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:56 PM   #20
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These days after vigorous exercise even my eyelashes hurt.
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