Living and Running with Multiple Sclerosis
We recently caught up with Ultima ambassador, Marisol Beigert, who is an avid runner and yoga practitioner living with MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Her commitment and dedication to doing what she loves is an inspiration to us all. She shares her experiences with us in an interview.
Have you always been a runner?
I have not always been a runner. I was always interested in general fitness and yoga but running became a real part of my life in 2006. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis that year and it is what propelled me to run. I had a point where I needed to learn to walk again, and that walking evolved into running. The running helped speed up the recovery of flares both physically and mentally. Running allows me to feel “normal”. It also helps me show people that even though I have this disease I still try my hardest to do what so many people can do given the chance. I look ok on the outside, but my inside is hurting. Running helps me focus on getting over the pain and numbness of MS and just be me. Staying hydrated and not consuming artificial ingredients is super important for me as well, which is why I am a huge fan of Ultima.
What is your favorite distance to run?
Right now it’s anywhere from 8 to 13 miles, a Half Marathon.
Do you take part in any cross training, like yoga or strength workouts?
Cross training and yoga complete my trifecta for physical well-being. I have practiced the Runner’s World Yoga classes by Rebecca Pacheco for about three years now. Before I started doing Yoga regularly my MS symptoms affected my walking. After some time of regular practice, I was able to walk without issue. I am very grateful for this gift. And now for about a year I added a program called PiYO which is Pilates and yoga combined. This is a strength training program that has helped me get stronger and it makes a difference. 2015 was probably my best MS non-year since being diagnosed. Both of these programs also keep me performing at my best.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of running?
Least favorite part of running is always the first mile. Nothing is really loosened up and ready to work, even with a warm-up. My favorite part of running is the last 100-200 meters of a race. It’s where I “kick” to the finish line. What a rush of excitement and adrenaline.
Do you prefer trail or road running? Do you switch up your routes?
Considering what the route is called around me, I prefer trail running. But it’s not what is normally known as a trail. It’s a converted railroad line that is part blacktop and dirt surface that provides 13 plus miles of heaven. While I do prefer to run on this trail, I do switch up my routes as much as possible. I try and run on similar surfaces and elevations in preparation for upcoming races.
Do you run to music? If so what’s on your running playlist right now?
When running alone music is a must, but when I’m with one of my running groups there is no need for it. The conversation amongst friends just makes the miles fly by. I don’t have a specific running playlist. I listen to EDM (Electronic Dance Music) while running alone. It helps keep my energy up for pacing.
What’s next for you in 2016?
My first race was the NYC Half Marathon in March. I love to run through the streets of New York, through Central Park, a closed down Times Square, down the West Side Highway to Battery Park. I’m such a New Yorker that the thought of running this puts a big smile on my face. I am on the National MS Society “Race to Stop MS” Team and look forward to letting everyone see the other side of MS.
In June, I have my first goal race of the year. It’s local to me in the Hudson Valley and run along the beautiful re-developed rail trail. Then it’s some more NYRR races, and local half marathon in September. Plans are in the works for the Hartford CT Marathon Relay or it’s Half Marathon to be run as a second goal race. I am also hoping to run the Runner’s World Half in October which is great because Ultima will be the on course drink there!