Athlete Diary: The Journey To Living A Healthier Life

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Athlete Diary: The Journey To Living A Healthier Life

Blog by Beth Ulibarri, sponsored athlete

Beth Ulibarri is a sponsored Klean Athlete who in 2012 was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It was then that she decided to share her journey with MS and the trials and tribulations involved in staying as active as possible. She lives in Albuquerque and is a wife and mother of two, working full-time and attempting to fit in exercise when possible (usually at 5:30 in the morning). She loves to run and began competing in triathlons after her MS diagnosis, including IRONMAN® triathlons (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and then “just” a 26.2-mile marathon). As long as she can stay healthy and injury-free, she hopes to complete in as many marathons and triathlons as her legs will allow. “I am far from a natural runner,” says Beth, who was not a very athletic child and grew up hating anything to do with running. As an adult she began to enjoy exercise and hiking, and somewhere along the way actually started to enjoy running as well. After being diagnosed with MS, she began participating in the annual MS 150 Mile Bike ride to raise funds and awareness for the disease. After that, she just had to start swimming – and before she knew it she was competing in an IRONMAN®!

The following blog is our latest download from Beth on what it takes to stay healthy, active and fit while balancing training with everything else life throws at her.

I am often asked how I fit IRONMAN® training into my already busy life. I am a wife, a mother of two teenagers and one Golden Retriever puppy, I have a full-time job and I was diagnosed four years ago with Multiple Sclerosis. Since my diagnosis I have become a two-time IRONMAN® and recently completed my 13th marathon. Trust me when I say if I can do it anyone can – you just have to want to.

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My weekdays begin with waking up sometime around or before 5 a.m., followed by quickly throwing on some workout clothes and heading out the door for a run, or going to the gym for a spin class and/or swim. Training lasts between 1-2 hours depending on the workout, and then it’s home to take my youngest to school (my husband and I share driving duties, and now that my oldest is driving herself to school, I occasionally can extend my morning workout if I don’t have school drop-off duty).

Next is a quick shower and breakfast (usually some type of smoothie with Klean Recovery™) and it’s off to work. After work is a mad dash to figure out what to make for dinner and an attempt to gather the family around the dinner table to recap our day. After cleaning up, possibly throwing a load of laundry in the machine (one detrimental side effect of all the training is there is a ton of laundry to do!), it’s time to pass out, get some rest and do it all again the next day.

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Weekends are great because they often allow my husband and me to train with friends. This usually involves an early wake-up, then a long bike ride or run. We are home around the time our teenagers are waking up and then we have the rest of the day for family activities.

I have found that having a consistent daily routine of working out, eating well (I shoot for the 80/20 rule in regard to eating; after all, life is tough enough without having to give up all the good stuff!), and trying to get decent sleep (much harder than it sounds) gives me the best shot at staying healthy and keeping active battling my disease. It also helps with my overall emotional well-being. Does that mean that every day is great and I hit my workouts and eat perfectly? Not a chance! But I don’t beat myself up about those days; I just try to do better the next day.

Part of living with MS is that I never know what the future holds. I am incredibly fortunate to have the health and mobility that I have and I do not take a moment for granted. If my story can help or motivate just one person, it would make all the hard work and training worth it (although crossing an IRONMAN® finish line also makes it worth it!). I encourage you to join me on the journey to living a healthier life. I guarantee you won’t regret it!

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You can follow Beth on Facebook

Facebook: www.facebook.com/milesandtrials

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