Friday, December 21, 2012

Road To Rio
The Current Situation

A quick update for RTR, I have been to see a podiatrist(foot and ankle doctor) and the results weren't necessarily positive.  He gave me two options: Wear a brace, or surgery to replace the torn ligament.
I wasn't shocked, scared, angry.  I've been dealing with pain and imbalance in my right ankle for the last 2 years. I just didn't do anything about it.  I guess it took a tough day on the track to remind me of true pain.  But ofcourse I just gritted my teeth and smiled as if nothing was wrong.  See that's what i've been doing since high school.  The "Tough Athlete Mentality".  This is something I truly wish I had not fallen into. One thing I tell ALL young athletes I encounter is if your are hurt in ANY WAY, do NOT risk it.  Do not try to be the BIG MAN. REST YOUR BODY. You only have one! Unfortunately one that may have cost me my athletic career.  Well you know I'm not like that.  One thing I learned is that God is faithful.  I will rise again. I won't go into the details but getting expensive medical treatment has not been an option for a while. Nonetheless,  I will find a way to get this surgery and rehab and I will return stronger that ever. See you on the other side.  See you in Rio.


For now I am just maintaining my strength by lifting my upper body only.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Road To Rio
A Self Induced And Painful Challenge

It took me a while to get back to my blog and update you guys but here I am.  I just competed this past saturday December 8th at the Capital University.  This time was not quite as hectic although i had to pay attention to when each event was.  I competed in the 60m dash, the 60 m hurdles, the long jump, the high jump and the shot put, not all quite in that order.  First up was the long jump. After warming up I joined the other competitors late on the running surface facing the sand pit.  I had to ask a fellow competitor to count my steps out from the sand pit since it had been such a long time since I did long jump(remember last meet I didn't even have steps haha). So he helped me out and I marked out at 93meters, after a practice run through I realized I was about a meter behind so I had to actually adjust to 92 meters.  These were all things a coach would say but as you know, I do not have this luxury.  All I wanted to do today is jump off my left foot.  I did!  I was able to jump 19'10" off of my left foot! Thinking back on it, I am so proud of myself.  My dominant foot used to be my right foot until (as i mentioned in my injury history) over the years i've sustained so many ligament tears that honestly it's not even stable enough to take that much force :(. moving on... 
My personal best on my right foot is 20'10, a full foot longer but this was from high school.  Even in college i only managed around (6.05m) or 19'10 on my right foot because I was forcing myself(and as i mentioned "fighting through the pain" stupidly enough.  Again this is something I regret earlier in my career, competing while injured.  
The High Jump was next.  Let's make this short.  I opened at the height of 1.83m(6'0' again) after not being able to clear 5"8' in warmups.  It comes down to weather you believe you can clear it or not and I did.
Next was the preliminaries of the 60m hurdles.  I ran slow!(10.75sec) I was jumping over gingerly haha but somehow I MADE FINALS! 
Next was the 60m dash.  I ran a 7.42 seconds good enough for 20/33 places. I didn't make finals. I wasn't mad at all because at this point is where I noticed my body started to break down.  Right foot started to hurt. My hips and thighs started to fatiuge. AND I STILL HAD THE SHOT PUT
I threw 8.19m(26ft8in), not good compared to the other big boys in this event but I was so fatigued at this point honestly i didn't care.  This may have been the only point I failed in the mental aspect. I'm supposed to put maximal effort regardless of fatigue level. Lesson already learned.
This brings me to this point.  THE ONLY THING STOPPING ME FROM RIO 2016 IS MY RIGHT ANKLE. That's it, let me explain, I have had this right injury probably since 2011, as a result of straining my ankle during an intramural game in 2010.  Honestly I no longer have the supporting ligaments on the medial and lateral sides of my ankles. all gone... I don't know how I survive each day just walking.  When I compete in multiple events, I have to take a month off after just to get back to a (mostly) pain free body. That is just not going to cut it!
For those of you who actually read my blog and care, I take time to be real with you guys and I try not to lie.  In my life I try my best in this area.  Ofcourse I am just a sinner just like everybody else and the only thing that sets me apart is my relationship and acceptance of Jesus Christ but I try my best to be transparent.  
So what is the solution? How do I fix this ankle injury and rehab? I don't know.  It costs thousands of dollars to do a surgery like this. And you have to ask yourself is it worth it?  Will getting the surgery cause more problems? Well the way I see it, so many professional athletes and olympians have these surgeries all the time and have successful recoveries.  I'm in a state of contemplation right now as I still am recovering from the soreness of this past weekends competition and a foot sprain caused by my ankle injury.  
Road To Rio........

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Road To Rio
The Debut

I'll keep this blog short today.  Today was my debut at the Tiffin Open at the indoor track facility in Tiffin, Ohio.  I registered for the Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put, 60m dash and 60m hurdles.  Way to much to handle at a meet not aimed at multi-events.  Basically it was chaos. That is the only way I can describe it.  I missed the 60m dash(I actually wanted to run that one), my last jump in the long jump and I was late to my last(failed) jump in the high jump.  I even jumped off the wrong foot in the long jump because I switched recently.  To make matters worse I didn't arrive in time for warmups or to get steps for the long jump OR high jump.  Well that's the bad new. The good news is that I maintained a level head throughout, something come to think of it is crucial for a multi-eventer.  You have to keep going regardless of perfomance.  

When the dust settled I had cleared 5"10(correction I just checked and it was 6"0"!, next meet i'll try to clear my height 6"2' haha) in the high jump, I jumped 19"00 on the wrong leg in the long jump.  I ran my FIRST EVER in the hurdles(last place in a fast heat).  I just thankful the God because I enjoyed it and my drive there and back was safe and easy(albeit I got lost in Delaware, sorry its Delaware, Mr Morgan I'm looking at you haha). Here are the few pictures I managed to snap since I was so busy. 

Up next is the Capital meet next Saturday Dec 8th.  Pray for better results :) 

Thanks and God bless you guys
Find Jesus in your life.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Road To Rio- The First Stop

So this is it. This is the first time I will be competing against other. This weekend i'll take a short drive to Tiffin, Ohio for my first taste of competition against other athletes.  I have put in a lot of work to get to this point and I don't expect to be dissapointed.  This weeks workouts have been scaled down but the intensity hasn't been reduced.  Before I was lifting for muscle strength by doing longer repetitions with a few sets.  Now ALL of my lifting is now 80-90 percent of my maximum with only 5 to 6 repetitions.  As a physiology major in college I know this is what I have to put my body through in preparation for a "peak" I am pretty much overloading my body on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in preparation for the Saturday meet.  Thursday and Friday are actually dedicated solely to rest and recovery in preparation for a great performance. 

I wanted to say thanks to all the people who have read my blogs or watched my youtube videos these past few months.  You know who you are so I don't have to say anymore.  Please continue to watch as I will also continue to keep you as updated as I can! You can actually see a video I made for you guys at the bottom of this page.

I will post the results of my meet as well as an evaluation of how I did on Sunday or Monday after Dec 1st.  Thanks for joining me on my journey to Rio! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

 Road To Rio
A Training Session Of A Lifetime

Simply put, this sundays training sessions was the greatest experience of my track career thus far... easily.  Yes I said it!  I had the opportunity to train with not just one of the best coaches in the world but one of the best multi-event(heptathlon, decathlon) coaches in the world. So how did it happen?  How did I find him? Well actually I'm still not sure how because I have never met him! This was all God's work. This is what happened. Around saturday afternoon, I recieved a random email(or atleast at the time it seemed like it).  It was from Mark Lattimore, a former proffesional sprinter who was holding a camp on a sunday evening in Delaware(Delaware out of all places!! haha).  I was very tempted to delete it quickly because it looked like spam but thankfully I read on and saw coach Smith's name.  That was all it took.  When you see a name with those kind of credentials(he coached Hyleas Fountain to a silver medal in the Beijing olympics).  That was all it took, I didn't hesitate to register. I knew I HAD to be there! I might never get this kind of opportunity ever again.  So I registered that evening and the next day after church I was off. 

The Training Session

When I arrived we were first put through a warmup that included 2 laps on the tiny indoor track and a lot of hip mobilization warmup drills, legs swings, hip circles, high knees, hurdle drills. After that we broke up into 2 groups, sprinters and long jump/high jump.  I joined the jump group since I haven't done the event since high school.  We worked by the long jump pit first.What followed was a series of hops, plyometrics, and quick feet drills that I had done before but never quite a this intensity.  This is one thing that I noticed that seperates a world class coach from the others.  They make you get everything right.  I remember one drill that we did literally 20 times. 20 times! Hopping back and fourth trying to get the correct form.  After the long jump we headed to the high jump area. I put on my new spikes and headed over.  We continued with more technical drills particular to the high jump, running in a curve etc.

The Experience

This experience is something I believe was a blessing from God.  How did little old me, living in Ohio on a cold October evening train with a world-class olympic coach? Well it's all Christ.  He loves me and wants the best for me. He knows my heart desire and will grant it to me if I stay humble and focused. Thank you Lord!

Coach Smith And I!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Journey To Rio
Training Is No Joke/Hard

So I just finished another training session.  This one was short and simple because of the simple reason that it was so difficult and I'd taken about 5 days off.  Just 5 days off and I was out of shape! Or elite shape that is.  Actually through my undergrad education at Ohio University(Go Bobcats!) in Exercise Physiology, I know that it only takes about 2 weeks to start to lose  the benefits of your training but to gain back everything it takes like 8 weeks to get back to tip top shape that you were in before) Yea it's like that.  Well here's to not taking days off NDO(No Days Off). I want to keep this short.  I posted a video from my youtube covering the beggining(and abrupt end) of my workout enjoy.  As for an update, I will be changing up my schedule a little bit.  After talking with my girlfriend yesterday she gave some great advice. I decided my body needs rest even while training.  I can't train so hard as to not be healthy enough to compete.  I basically need to find the fine line between training and resting. So here is my new schedule. Train Monday, Tuesday, Rest and Technical events on Wedneday NO RUNNING AT ALL, do balance work, Thursday running and Friday Intervals(because Sat and Sun are always off).  In terms of pole vaulting training I am literally sending an email to the coach after this.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Journey To Rio
Motivation To Be My Best

So again it's been a little while since I wrote my last blog.  I just wanted to update everyone on how my training is coming along.  I have continued my weight lifting and I am still running a few days of the week.  The problem right now and what is most discouraging is the weather.  It is starting to get colder and the air thinner so it's a little harder while training.  As you must know by now, the outdoor weather will not phase me or deter my training.  I have training in harsh weather conditions before; you can see the youtube of me below training in the rain...why stop because of a little weather. In fact that was one of my favorite training sessions to date!  Most of my workouts are now on the treadmill indoor though.  I also substitute a little of my cardio by playing pickup basketball.  Yes I know I shouldn't because of risk of injury and I'm happy to announce I won't be playing like that any more.  Because of previous ankle injuries as I mentioned in my first few blogs,  I usually end up with swollen ankles after every basketball session.  I just cannot afford to have this anymore.  So that's it done, end of discussion.  Anyways continuing on the current affairs,  I am still targeting competing in my first meet this December.  Specifically in the Case Western Multi-Events meet. During this indoor heptathlon I will compete in the 55m dash, 55m hurdles, Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put, Pole Vault, and Finally the 1000m(5 times around the tiny indoor track) The actual date and schedule has not acutally been set yet, I'm just going off of last year's date but as soon as it becomes available, you can bet I will be the first to sign up! Another perk? It's Free to enter the competition! 

Usually as an independent or "unattached" athlete, you pay 10-20 dollars just to be able to compete. While brings me to my next point,  I will have to pay for the pole vault training.  And this is also a case of motivation.  Do I want to shop 200 bucks for someone to train me.  I think so.  As you know there is a large degree of danger when it comes to the pole vault.  I have never actually done it before and actually thinking about it sometimes scares me.  I have always been about safety and injury precaution so you bet I will take the best approach to learning this new craft.  I plan to contact the coach today and set up my training for the whole of next month in hopes of being ready to compete in Cleveland in December.  This indoor heptathlon will be my first taste of whether I have what it takes.  Wish me luck, and most importantly PRAYERS of protection from injury.
Thank you all for reading and supporting.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Road To Rio 16
December, Come On Soon

So I've been training over a month now and I feel like i'm getting better in every aspect, my speed, my legs are more powerful, and i'm throwing the shot put further every time.  But... I don't know exactly how far.  I don't know how fast my 100m or my 400m is.  I simply haven't been tested under competition conditions. You can see my short training video below from my lastest sprint runs. The good news I can report is that after a long workout I still ran my last 100m in 12.4 sec, which adjusted to the wind would have been a 11.9.  It's nothing like running against someone else. That's ok though, come December, the Journey takes a turn and gets real.  How will I do under real conditions, while competing indoor? Something I've never done in track and field.  Well we'll have to wait and see.  The next target is pole vault training.  I hope to start training at an indoor facility next month with a certified instructor.  It's expensive so I have to weigh the benefits but I believe it will all pay off in the end. The Case Western Multi Events meet in December. That is target numero uno. Follow me on my journey...... To Rio......

In Christ

Friday, September 21, 2012

Road To Rio

Steady Improvement

I haven't posted one in a while so I thought I would give you all on update.  I have been working out on the track or weight training everyday for the last two weeks.  I didn't measure any times or check how fast I was running.  I was only running to maximum effort.  Today my workout was tough, to say the least.  I ran 3x300m, 2x200m and 2x100m.  It sucked! I was breathing hard after every run but for some reason this time, I felt no need to quit, in fact I felt as if I was getting stronger! Hooray!  The best part of the workout was my last 100m.  I ran a 12.3 seconds.  Now compared to elite time I was quite slow but considering all of the speed-endurance runs I had just run it was spectacular! You can see the video of the run below.  Now imagine yourself having run the workout I did then running all out for your last 100m, that is precisely what I did.  Proud of myself today. There is hope, and it all lies in Jesus. That is where my strength comes from. I will succeed, I will become an Olympian.  It's all coming together, I will be ready for my first meet in December. Signing out from Road To Rio. 
Olumide Mike Gbenro
Olympic Hopeful 2016

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Journey To Rio
A Shot For Rio

My first day throwing the shot put, it wasn't bad at all.  It felt comfortable in terms of the throwing or "putting" motion except for some uncomfortably feeling in the wrists.  I guess I'll have to strengthen even the tiniest muscles haha. As I mentioned I was blessed enough to have high school coaches that are willing to help me.  Actually yesterday was quite a day!  When I arrived to pick up the shot put I was able to meet the pole vault coach at my high school and he gave me loads of valuable tips and resources on who to contact for training, in fact next week he will be putting me upside down to simulate the feeling of flying through the air on the pole upside down. Scary right! This is why I ran away from it in high school but its time to embrace it head on.  Ok moving on, as I'm about to leave one of the other coaches tells me he used to do the decathlon for fun in his younger days and he threw pretty far too! He began to give me advice on his event too, the javelin! So before I left I had no coaches and resources for the shot put, the discus, javelin, or pole vault and after I left I had everything covered. God is Great!

Ok fast forward one day till today, I actually threw the shot put about 27 feet, not that far compared to the 40 something feet the professional shot putters are throwing right now. I won't be discouraged, I have 4 years to get it right but yea, it was fun out there! You can see from the video below and the pics how I did! My throwing form was barbaric and I haven't even hit the lower body power lifts necessary to be a champ at this event.  Time in the gym needs to increase in focus on lower body.  
Stay Tuned........
God Bless You

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Tools

Journey To Rio
The Tools
I was able to run into a shot put and discuss today. One of my high school coaches was willing to let me borrow them. What a blessing! I would be spending upwards of $250 to buy all the equipment but now I can train no problem. There is one issue though, no coach. I can self train for all events except the aforementioned. So if there are any of you out there who know a coach for me please let me know.

God bless!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Journey To Rio
A Journey

So I named this blog Journey To Rio for a reason.  It is because this 47 month journey isn't one I can do alone.  There are many people who will help contribute to my success and get me where I need to get.  Today my sister helped me with my on track workouts, you can see her in the video below. I know as I get closer the support and people involved will increase. These workouts are not fun, let me just put it that way.  Sometimes I ask myself why am I putting myself through this? Alas this is not a negative post, I will never be the one to let something get me down.  I truly enjoy every second of the tough running and lifting because all I see in front of me is a huge crowd of people screaming and waving because they are at the Olympics.  Anytime I'm lifting and I am on my last set or on my last run and I need something to push me through I just imagine I am there.  I stand there waiting to run the final event of the decathlon, the 1500m. There are 60,000 people screaming at the top of their lungs waiting to see the spectacle that is the worlds greatest athlete except I hear nothing.  A calm comes over me, one of confidence.  This is what I visualize.

I contacted a high school friend of mine to see if he could find me a coach for the shot put and pole vault.  He was able to direct me in the right direction.  As I mentioned before, I have little to no experience with these events.  I will be looking to meet him soon and find out how I can train for them.  This is a good sign, things are coming together.  I'm grateful to Christ for one other thing today.  No Injuries, in fact my ankles are getting stronger and the power that I lost from my right leg from previous injury is coming back. All I have to do is continue to rehab and work hard everyday.

God Bless,
Proverbs 16:3

Monday, August 13, 2012

Journey To Rio
No Injuries

The journey to Rio continues, so I have been doing some thinking the last few days.  To set the goal of being a decathlete might not neccesarily be the best idea simple because I did not compete in the pole vault and shot put in high school, in fact I have no prior experience in the pole vault at all.  I am not saying I will give up on the decathlon entirely.  With a good coach, I could certainly compete in it but what seems like a better idea would be to focus on my strongest even through highschool and college. This would be the triple jump and long jump. After the Olympics I was doing some research and I see that Nigeria had only one triple jumper, Tosin Oke and one long jumper, Stanley Gbabeke. Each nation is allowed to have two athletes per event if they meet the olympic standard.  This is what my goal will be over the next 3 1/2 years, to reach that olympic standard in both events and stay away from any sort of injuries.  Today was a lower body day filled with lunges, reverse lunges, step ups, etc. These workouts are something I am so unaccostomed to because as I mentioned, I didn't really lift any weight, especially not lower body in high school or college.  So I hope to get a lot stronger in my lower body and hopefully this translates to the track.  All I have to do is stay injury free. If this means taking as much as 3 straight days off when I feel something, then so be it.  My competitions don't begin till december so I will have time to be in perfect shape.  
Road To Rio Continues.......

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Journey To Rio
Citious, Altious, Fortious

Today was my second lifting session.  In order to be a good decathlete I need to be strong, plain and simple. Not just in the upper body but especially in the lower body. A lot of people think it takes strong arms to throw the javelin and shot put but really most of the power is coming from the legs.  So I will spend the next 3 months getting as strong and as powerful as I can get.  Today was an upper body only day mainly because of the tough running workout from yesterday.  I didn't want to risk injury so I made an executive desition. That is what most of it will be like for me.  I have to go by how my body feels because if I overtrain and get injured, then there was no point of doing the whole thing in the first place.  Going back to my plans, I plan to begin by competing in open indoor meets here all over the state of Ohio in places like Cleveland, Cinccinnati, and Columbus.  Most of the track meets are not structured like the decathlon where the ten events are split over two days.

The events are the 100m, 400m,1500m, 110m hurdles, long jump, high jump, discus, pole vault, javelin, and shot put.  I have to be selective in what events to compete in and when. Yesterday I examined the best times of Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee and from there set my own goals.  Ashton Eaton ran 10.3 sec in the 100m dash. Trust me I'm not planning on running the decathlon world record when I line up on the Capital University track in December.  I would like to run a time in the 11's first.  I have made initial goals for each even based on my previous experiences and what I believe I am currently capable of.  So that's it, the next step on the administrative part is to find a coach, and also eventually to find sponsors when I begin to compete in bigger meets. One last note, it looks like I might actually be competing in another big meet before the Rio Olympics in 2016, the Commonwealth games. I didn't realize as a competitor for Nigeria, which is part of the commonwealth I would be eligible to compete in Glasgow 2014. Well we'll see

Stay Tuned.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Journey To Rio

August 5th, 2016, I line up on next to Trey Hardee and Bryan Clay on a track in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to run the first event of the decathlon the 100m dash.  The gun goes off, and we're off!, I stumble out of the blogs momentarily but regain my form mid-race and cross the finish line in 10.1 seconds. He's set a new world record for the decathlon!  
Rewind to present, I am currently sitting at my home here in Dublin, Ohio after my first sprint workout in over 4 years.  I ran two 300meters, two 200 meters and one 100meters.  It was the most painful workout I have done and the most painful since I first started running as a 10 year old.  I re-familiarized myself with something called lactic acid as it rushed into my gluteus maximus and my hamstrings, I could barely sit down on the way back from the track.  So you're wondering why? Why put myself through all of this pain for a dream that seems so far fetched and near impossible.  Well it's because I believe I can become an olympian, and I believe was blessed with a talent that still hasn't been tapped to the fullest yet.  You see in high school I was a great track athlete but never reached my full potential.  I walked by the records board today and saw the record for the long jump, 21' 6. As I walked away exhausted, I realized I was only 8 inches away from the record because I jumped 20'10' in my last jump as a senior on a bum knee and severely injured ankles.  As I walked out of the stadium I reminisced of what could have been but for the injuries and a lack of training seriously.  I never even had a regular weightlifting program during high school.  All of my success was based on pure natural abilities. As I walked away a feeling set over me, not one of regret but one of rejuvenation.  After walking on at Ohio University and competing one year before a removal of the men's track team , I was without any sport.  I spent the next few years playing recreational sports again, aquiring one ankle injury after another.  After graduating in 2011 was my first time I truly rested and recouped from years of injuries.  So here I am today nearly fully healed and rehabbing and armed with my undergrad education in exercise physiology degree.I  know what to do to have my body in the best shape it can be to achieve my dream that was put on hold for a few years. Starting in December I will be competing as an unattached athlete in several of the individual events of the decathlon.  The pole vault and shot put will be the most challenging but I have already found potential coaches in these.  I have already started a 5 day a week training program that will build strength, power, and speed.  I hope I start to see gains in my running and performances down the line. So, will I be in Rio in 2016, that's yet to be determined.  But will I work the hardest I have every worked ever? You can bet I will.  Follow me on my journey