Today’s guest is someone that I’ve been working with for a bit now and while we were debriefing after a recent race he asked if I was still taking volunteers for guests on the podcast.
That answer is still, and will always be, yes.
I’m not entirely sure where this conversation will end up but I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Scott Rogers.
Ebbed And Flowed
Scott Rogers was in the fourth grade when he joined the cross country team at his school.
This was his first introduction to running, a sport that would come in and out of his life for years to come.
He had a great experience but chose to focus on musical theater while in high school rather than sports.
It was during his senior year of college that running resurfaced again in his life.
Scott had taken a sports psychology elective and was required to either volunteer or participate in a 5k at the end of the semester.
He chose to run the race even though he didn’t have any idea what he was doing.
That 5k was the first race he ever ran and also the moment that running officially re-entered his life.
Reach The Beach
The running bug really hit Scott shortly after he graduated from college.
One of his teammates on his soccer team was in need of an extra runner for their Reach the Beach relay team.
Scott agreed to join and it was during that race that he really fell in love with running.
His first Reach the Beach relay was in 2016 and he has run it every year that it has been held since.
Initially, he didn’t know anyone on his team, but over the course of a couple of days, they all made lifelong connections.
Every year they all get together as if no time has passed and joined in one common goal.
Half and Beyond
Scott ran his first half-marathon in 2017 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
His first experience completing the distance was successful so he signed up for a second half-marathon.
Scott made a deal with himself that if that race went well, he would sign up for a marathon.
The race did not in fact go well, but that didn’t prevent Scott from signing up for the L.A. Marathon.
Scott filled his endless training hours by listening to various running podcasts.
On one of those podcasts is where he was first introduced to the term ultra running.
Though he hadn’t even completed his first marathon, Scott knew he wanted to try an ultra.
His training throughout winter went as planned and he was as ready as he could be heading into the marathon.
When Scott first arrived in L.A. for the marathon, his legs didn’t feel as fresh as they should have.
In hindsight, Scott realized he had run faster than he should have in training and didn’t recover properly.
He hit the wall early in the race, but still successfully finished.
His first marathon was a learning experience that Scott would use going forward.
In typical runner fashion, he quickly forgot the pain of the marathon and focused on figuring out what his next race would be.
The trails were calling Scott’s name and he was listening.
Farther Not Faster
As Scott continued to gain running experience, he realized that he got excited about the prospect of going farther not faster.
He was drawn to the trail community for a variety of reasons including their inclusivity.
The first ultra Scott signed up for was slated for 2020, but like most races that year it got canceled.
The pandemic may have altered race plans, but Scott was still able to run.
He made the decision to forge ahead and do a self-guided 50k.
Halloween of 2020 was the day that Scott would attempt 31.1 miles.
He woke that morning to a quarter-inch of snowfall.
Scott went through with his race plan and successfully completed his first ultra.
It Doesn’t Always Get Worse
Almost one year after his first ultra, Scott completed his second one.
He made the decision going into the race that he wanted to go farther than he did the year before.
The race was a 7.5-mile trail that was an out and back.
Scott went into the race with imposter syndrome.
Though he had completed an ultra the year prior, he didn’t think of himself as an ultra runner.
It was 15 miles into the race before the wheels began to come off.
Scott made the oldest mistake in the book, by going out too fast.
He paid for it dearly the rest of the race, yet still managed to run a distance PR of 45 miles.
Moving the Bar Forward
Running has become something that Scott can count on to make him a better person both mentally and physically.
During the pandemic, he struggled with anxiety and found that going for a run helped him cope.
It has also provided him with a much-needed social outlet especially when the world shut down during the pandemic.
As Scott continues to go farther he always makes sure to respect the distance.
Even when training has gone perfectly, anything can and will happen on race day.
Scott has found that when doing things he has never done before he meets different versions of himself.
As the bar keeps moving forward, he continues to find out who he is at his core.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Stay connected with Scott Rogers by following him on Instagram.
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