Posted on April 23, 2014Courtney Baxter: Running Story
This month we feature Courtney Baxter who is a passionate runner/triathlete in the St. Louis running community. Courtney has competed in a combined number of 42 races in her young career. We are glad to be able to share her incredible story.
MS: Were you an athlete growing up?
CB: I grew up riding horses, playing basketball, and playing baseball. I am a total nerd. I quit organized sports in high school to be in the marching band. I still ran for fitness all through high school and college. In grad school some of my classmates were training for the Nashville Half Marathon and I couldn't be left behind!!
MS: Not only do you run but you race a lot of triathlons as well. What got you into that sport?
CB: I wanted a friend to race a half marathon with me and he kept refusing. He finally got tired of me asking and said if I could finish an Olympic triathlon with him, (6 weeks away) then he would run with me. 6 weeks later I ran my first triathlon. I had never worn a wet suit before and only rode my new road bike twice before race day. I've been hooked ever since and now my friend runs marathons with me!
MS: Do you associate yourself more as a runner, swimmer or biker?
CB: I remember in my early triathlon days, someone asked me how comfortable I was biking on open roads. My response was, "I am a runner on a bike." Over the years I have come to view each sport as an individual piece. I have brushed up on cycling and swimming technique and I am becoming more of a true swimmer. I even look forward to my long bike rides every Saturday morning. At the end of the day though, I will always be 99% runner at heart.
MS: What’s your best piece of advice for anyone considering doing a triathlon?
CB: Don't worry about fancy equipment or expensive gadgets. Put in some training time and get out there and race! Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing a new race or new distance!!
MS: What do you consider to be your proudest moment so far in your young career?
CB: It’s a close tie between finishing my first 70.3 Ironman and winning as an overall woman in a small 5k this past winter.
MS: You have been known to enjoy working out in the early hours of the morning. Give us a few of your tricks on beating your alarm clock and getting your workout in?
CB: I equate training in the morning to quitting smoking. You have to trial and error 7 - 10 times before you find what works for you. I started out just getting up an hour early for a couple weeks. Sometimes I would just sit and watch TV but it got me in the habit. Then I started meeting my coach in early on Monday mornings, it got my week started right. I also found the consistency of working out most mornings made it easier to stick with it.
MS: As a member and current president-elect of the St. Louis Triathlon Club, what has been truly the greatest thing you have taken away from it all?
CB: St Louis Triathlon Club and Big River Running have played huge parts in my life over the last 4 years. When I moved back to St Louis after leaving for 8 years, I had a hard time meeting new people. I started with Big River Tuesday Night speed work and was lucky enough to meet some awesome ladies there. (Love me some Katie and Stephanie!!) From there Katie got me into St Louis Triathlon Club and I continued to run with Big River. The athletes of these AMAZING groups are now like family to me.
The most important thing I have learned from my experiences is to share the love. It doesn't matter if you are a new athlete fresh off the couch or the number one marathoner at Boston, you have great experiences to share and others have so much to offer you. Of course I have my closest friends, but I try my best to befriend everyone. You are no better than anyone else and no one is too good for you. You never know when you will cross paths again.
MS: Do you have any pets?
CB: I have a 9 year old English Setter named Guinness. Of course he loves to run too!
MS: Are you a coffee addict?
CB: LOVE COFFEE!! I now limit myself to one cup in the AM (sometimes before a work out) and one cup later in the day!
MS: Favorite pump up song while you work out?
CB: Huh? People workout to music?
MS: Are you a fan of Taylor Swift?
CB: *Stares at my feet* I love Taylor.
MS: Thank you Courtney!