Some of the Runner’s World article is online now. Click this picture I really like, or HERE, to have a read. This photo isn’t edited so enjoy the hip and leg bruising that comes with living this sort of life.
But wait, there’s more! It’s been fun times being on the cover of the most popular running magazine in the world. Oh, did you miss it? I can only milk a Runner’s World cover for about 45 days, so, here it is again.
If the cover didn’t happen, I wouldn’t have been invited to my first Ultra, and accepted the challenge immediately. I’m a yes person.
But you know, when asked my advice, “the more the better,” I had a lot to say. Of course it was way too much to put in print or even online, so I am going to share my advice right here, in my “non-journalistic” voice, as it was originally handed over.
TOPIC ONE: HEALTH AND FITNESS WHILE ON TRAVEL
I am a pro at traveling light and healthfully. Every trip I take I learn a new hack. I should write a book about all the lessons I’ve learned!
- NO AIRPORT/AIRLINE FOOD: I bring preportioned snack bags of nuts and dried fruit to the airport and eat a large, fibrous, healthy meal before going to the airport. Between that and your healthy snacks, you should be able to avoid Cinnabon.
- ENERGY SOURCE: Travel means I may have to skew my workout schedule or hop time zones; things that can throw you for a loop. A small coffee or XS energy drinks and snacks are my go-to’s for a pep of energy. On the road for me could mean a conference, a race, an interview, or any number of things. I don’t always know when I will be able to work out, so I get my workouts in as early as possible. Don’t procrastinate!
- MEAL REPLACEMENT BARS AND CONTROLLED EATING OUT: I love to eat and explore culture, but I’ve typically done my research ahead of time and know what I want to try and where I want to go. I use meal replacement bars close to the “zone” macro breakdown. My favorites are Exo, NuGo organic and Vega One. I dine out only once per day so I can afford a little splurge. I implemented this on a recent three-week trip to Hong Kong, a food mecca, and I came back in better shape. The meals I sat down to there were the long, drawn out, six-course kind, but reining in the rest of my diet during the day and sticking to workouts was key. Also, I choose between alcohol (usually wine) or dessert, never both.
- HYDRATION AND PROTEIN PACKETS: I usually work out twice a day, so beyond meals or meal replacements, I need to chug water and always lug individual packets from Garden of Life, Vega One or Carnivore’s liquid protein. To save space I use a singular bottle for travel, water and protein. My bottle of choice is Clean Bottle’s Square, it’s easy to clean, doesn’t leak a drop, and comes in pink, my favorite. There are also filters (you never know about foreign water) and a fruit infusion attachment to add flavor.
- GET THE MEDS/SUPPS GAME IN CHECK: Every week I dole out my supplements, allergy medicine, and Vitamin C and Viactiv chews, and aim to take them at the same time every day. I actually use the Viactiv chews as a form of dessert because they taste so good. If my trip is long, I will pack for as long as I need. I don’t change anything in this arena just because I am on the road. Because my body is used to certain supplements and I have some food sensitivities, I don’t switch them up and always keep them on my person. Even during the Runner’s World shoot, I was poppin’ my BCAA and Vitamin B with lunch. (Below on-set photo by Scott McDermott.)
TOPIC TWO: GEAR AND RECOVERY
I am lucky to be able to drag gear through the ringer for Iron Man Magazine, often before it’s even hit the market. I know what I like. After major foot and hip surgeries, I am especially sensitive to tending to my recovery.
- EARPHONES: I love my iSport SuperSlim Wireless headphones from Monster. They fit securely and never fizzle with my daily sweat sessions. I went through about 10 pairs in testing for an article and these reigned supreme with amazing sound quality. Wireless is absolutely essential. I don’t have time for wires.
- MUSCLE RELIEF: Because I carry an obscene amount of stress in my traps and am prone to lower backaches or the occasional overtraining session (oops), the Marc Pro has been my savior. I cannot stress how much this has helped with my shoulders and neck. I basically oscillate between sitting at a laptop for hours and being super active, so I am excited to get a Rebel Desk, which I can stand at, in a few weeks. Having had hip surgery, I have a good feeling that this will be life changing. Standby for full review!
- HYDRATION: Any distance runner knows the importance of hydration and I am devout to Nathan’s array of hand held, belt and vest water carriers. They are reliable and colorful. I almost always run with a Speed Draw Plus Insulated and a Mirage Pak.
- CROSS TRAINING: Recovery for me means cross training. I don’t have time to traverse a city to attend spin class, so I’ve learned to bike from home, if not Central Park. I love the Peloton Bike because it feeds my competitive spirit with a leaderboard and I have a Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro in my home gym.
- PERFECT SNEAKER: I love Brooks products and the Glycerin sneaker is my holy grail. I was thrilled to be photographed in them on the Runner’s World cover. Find your perfect sneakers and cherish them. Abroad, I ALWAYS have my #1 pair on my person.
TOPIC THREE: MY LIFE HACKS
I have been travelling extensively since college and I’ve been alive for 35 years. I’ve learned a lot, and these are the first five things that come to mind.
- SUN/SKIN CARE: During my first Middle East deployment, I used zero sunscreen because I was simply uneducated. I am half Asian (usually great for skin) and half Scotch-Irish (usually horrible for skin), so around age 25 I started a full-court press of skin care. I love Murad products. Dr. Murad gives his time to the VA hospital, and I appreciate that.
- TRUSTED GLAM SQUAD (ON EACH COAST): I need to be camera ready for both photos and film. I go to Fringe Salon in Brooklyn where I have an esthetician guru who knows just what to do, Jennifer Katz, AND my hair goddess, Michelle Casino. Look at her Insta, she knows what’s up. I knock everything out in one pop, and they know me well enough to “just do what’s best”. My west coast team, which is no less spectacular consists of my freind and fellow “tell it like it is/ride or die bitch” Mary Assimos for hair and Sophia Phan, who has moved over to Hoefflin, for facial concerns. I can sniff out the best.
- BOD SQUAD: My life is forever changed by an updated approach to physical therapy. There is a fleet of sports medicine doctors, integrative specialists and doctors of physical therapy that are changing the game by preventing injury rather than just treating it. The way I breathe, stand, run and lift has been changed by DPT Doug Kechijian, a fellow vet, out of Peak Performance and DPT Connor Ryan, from Drive 495. They represent the new standard.
- DUAL PURPOSE ITEMS: I wear cheap and disposable clothes on personal travel, but if travel is work related I want something breathable, functional and durable in a classic cut. I am testing a new line of travel wear for the “adventurous professional” from a company called Hawken and Company. So far, I love it. I can attend a meeting or drop out of a helicopter in this stuff! Same with Tumi, travels well, holds up well, but also looks presentable. Another hack in this arena are glasses from Eye Buy Direct. I must have ordered 20 pairs in the past year and a half, as I lose them more than I’d like to admit. So some disposable style, comfort and fit is nice. I travel with three pairs.
- POSITIVE VIBES: One of the most important things I have learned over time is to embrace those who bring positive energy and do my best to eliminate negative energy. Having a good relationship with family, friends and the love of dogs is a big part of my life. Negative Nellies won’t stick around for long.
I like to say that I’m “Fit with a LIFE.” Take care of yourself but have fun and enjoy. As far as I know, you only get one life so make the most of it. At Endure to Cure, we make small miracles for pediatric cancer patients whose lives could possibly be cut short. It means a lot. If you can find it in your heart, or your wallet, we can always use more and you can donate here.
As far as my goals go, I want to continue writing about food and fitness and hosting on-camera. I will train as hard and smart for this season’s marathons, (OH WAIT, ULTRA 54 HOUR RACE!), IM 70.3 Syracuse and 140.6 Lake Placid, release my first book, which is about smoothies, then my second, all about my prized protein waffles. I’m looking to start an athleisure column, geared for the sporty type who likes comfort, functionality but also likes to look good. I tend to coordinate head to toe for the gym and I have fun with it. Eventually I’ll team up with some awesome designers to create a kick-ass athleisure line that goes from gym to everyday life with pops of color and personality.
Last but not least I look forward to starting a family in the next few years, having kids and also adopting. So those are my goals, and you can expect me to meet them.
Thanks to Runner’s World for having me and embracing my lifestyle and “special” personality. I never had a lofty “fitness modeling” goal, but landing on the cover of my favorite magazine in the world has been pretty darn swell.