Meet our July Athlete Spotlight, Veronica Thaxton! Veronica has been a dedicated triathlete for over 21 years. Recently, she had an awesome performance at IRONMAN 70.3 Lubbock, and she qualified for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship! She'll be racing in St. George in September and starting production on her own line of skin care products later this year. Way to go, Veronica!
Occupation: I work in Finance for BD, a medical technology company, and recently got a promotion. It's a global company, and in my role I get to work with our finance teams around the world every day. That's pretty cool because it has allowed me to meet some amazing people from many different countries and cultures, and I've made some really great friends in the four years I've been there.
How long have you been swimming, cycling, running, and/or doing triathlons? I started running 1 mile races as a kid and did the summer swim team thing through middle school. I always ran just to stay in shape if I wasn't involved in a sport, but dance and soccer took up most of my time in high school and college. I started cycling later in college, on the roads on a mountain bike. Then I took a swimming class for a PE credit and started looking around for triathlons. My first triathlon was in 2000. It was called My First Tri and I rode a mountain bike. I was completely hooked and bought my first tri bike immediately after that race.
What aspects of triathlon do you enjoy most? I like being on a structured training plan. I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself to get stronger and faster. I love track workouts! But the best part is the sense of community and the support. I love how strangers encourage and support each other on a race course. And I love the community and support of triathlon friends and teammates.
What has been your favorite training or racing event, and why? I love scenic, hilly events. My favorite race so far was a 13.1, Rocky Mountain National Park Half Marathon in Estes Park, Colorado. The starting elevation at 7,500 feet, the cold (at least it was cold to me), and the hills made it a fun challenge. But the beautiful scenery and watching moose cross the course made the miles just tick by, and before I knew it I was done with mile 12 and pushing through mile 13. I'll do it again some day.
What is your favorite post-workout or race meal? After a workout my favorite meal is a good burger, but I typically stick to collagen protein, fruit, and nuts/other random but healthy carbs. After a really long, hard workout or a race, it's hard for me to eat for a while so I usually survive off of half a Coke or a Starbucks cold brew until I can stomach something healthy. Horrible, I know, but at least I then crave salad.
What is one recent accomplishment you are proud of? I formed a skin care company and formulated and developed a line of skin care products. It will go into production later this year. (I have one more race I need to take care of first.) Getting to this point feels amazing, having all of the hard work behind me and the fun stuff ahead. It's an exciting time looking back at what I've done and looking forward at what's to come.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Lots of things! I'm already a mom of three great kids, and that's my dream job. Next I'd choose professional athlete, but it's hard to choose the sport... triathlon, cycling, running, swimming. And also an astronaut. My dad is an aerospace engineer and worked at NASA when I was a kid, so I have this fascination with space and the International Space Station. I get text alerts when it flies over and I like to go outside and watch it.
What is something no one knows about you? I am Rescue Diver certified, but I don't like SCUBA diving because it hurts my ears.