Lee Ann & Evan

Lee Ann O’Regan, Economist, mom to 2 children aged 2 & 4 & Evan O’Regan, Director of an IT Security company, dad to the same 2 kids as Lee Ann (Ottawa ON)

Posted by Sarah 

ImageCouples who run together… Oh wait, I used that last time didn’t I?!! Here’s another couple who do indeed run together. They’ve both been running on and off for years and years – more or less to stay in shape.

Evan once, on a whim, decided to run the Chicago marathon and used a generic training program to cross the finish line in 4:02 – but immediately thought that he could do better. Almost a decade later he decided to put it to the test and began a running specific nutrition and training plan together with Lee Ann – and they have both been astounded at their improvements!

Why run? For both, it’s a way of staying in shape – and a time to think, appreciate the beauty of things and hit the re-set button. But since having kids it’s become even more than that. They want very much for their kids to grow up living an active lifestyle with the lifelong benefits that come with it, so it becomes their ‘normal’. They look at eating right and being active as an essential foundation to a healthy, happy life – so they are simply teaching their children how by example. Plus, they want to be around them for as long as they can!

When it comes to eating to run, it’s not hard. “We can whip up a healthy and tasty dinner at home in less time than it takes to get takeout”, Evan says. He does admit that when you first transition to eating properly you will likely encounter challenges – especially as you are changing your habits. Getting help with the transition from a knowledgeable and trusted source helped Evan and Lee Ann cut through the hype and sales that can obscure the reality that eating to run is in fact quite uncomplicated and straightforward. So what does eating to run look like for them? Here they are on how they fuel themselves for success:

Q&A with LA & Ev

sarah- Why do you eat to run instead of running and then indulging?

la & ev – For us, it’s two things. First, eating to run is about putting it in the right order. It’s practical. If we don’t eat right, there’s no way our bodies could possibly absorb the training we need to put in to perform the way we want during the run. And if you don’t eat properly to recover from a run, you’re already short-changing your next workout.

The second is that ‘eating to run’ is the common thread to the kind of life we want to live.  Our friends will often comment how they don’t know how we manage to maintain our level of training with travel schedules, two busy jobs, two kids, two dogs, and all the demands that come with a busy family life. We make it happen by making eating right part of our family life. It’s a big part of what brings us together each day as everybody pitches in to help make the meals and clean up after. We love the way we feel when we’re eating properly, and that is key to making sure we’re always feeling up to juggling and enjoying our busy lives.

sarah- Well said! Fave pre-run eats?

la & ev- Hands-down, good old fashioned oatmeal. Add fruit, nuts, chia seeds and tiny drizzle of maple syrup for taste. It’s easy to make, can get it anywhere in the world if you’re on the road, great fuel for a run, and it’s tasty, too!

sarah- Love the oatmeal!! And chia seeds 🙂 Fave post-run eats?

ev – A good recovery shake with a mix of fruit and protein derived from whole food sources (preferably). Especially after a hard workout, my body isn’t always ready to accept solid food right away, which makes the shake perfect for me. With all the different flavour possibilities, haven’t gotten tired of them yet. And you can take it on the go.

la – Ditto!

sarah- Fave race you’ve run?

la– Hands down it was the Ottawa Marathon where I got my BQ.  But to understand why, you have to take into account that my first ever marathon and BQ attempt was five months before in Sacramento. Torrential rain, flooded streets, 50km/h winds, my music died less than 5 km in – and I missed my BQ time by two minutes! Even though I was happy to have a strong first marathon, it really dashed my secret expectations and I was bummed.  Ottawa was my next opportunity to try again, and it all came together. The weather was ideal, I really enjoyed pushing hard on a course I had been able to train on and knew well, friends and family came out with the crowds to cheer… amazing. And I smashed my time by five minutes!!

ev- Ironically, my favourite race was not a milestone or PB. I was training for Ironman 70.3, and the Ottawa 1/2 Marathon was built into my training plan as a ‘training’ race leading up to the big event. Everything came together beautifully: the confidence from all the training leading up to the day, my nutrition having been on track for weeks, even the weather cooperated. Plus I really enjoyed the electricity from race day without the pressure I put on myself when I’m trying to beat my time. I ran a perfect race – negative split, hit all my paces, re-fueling was bang on –  the entire race I felt unstoppable, like a tank. I’ve run other races with bigger personal accomplishments, but this one makes me smile every time I think about it. It’s the model for what I want all my races to feel like.

sarah- Yay negative splits, woot woot! Nice work. Tell us what’s next?

ev- There are two on the horizon for me. One is to qualify for Boston (not easy when you’re built like a Clydesdale), and the second is a PB in the Ironman.

la- Well, Evan is trying to convince me to do an Ironman 70.3, but I don’t think I’m that crazy. Instead, I’ll be looking for a PB on the Army 1/2 in Sept, and hoping to shave another 5-10 minutes off of my marathon time in October on the Toronto Waterfront. That’s all… for now.

sarah- Awesome goals. Good luck!!

These kids have it figured out… And they are now passing their passion for health and fitness on to their kids! I know their adventures have really only just begun… Can’t wait to see where they go next…