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June 13, 2022
Annmarie Tuxbury is May 2022 Athlete of the Month
Earns USATF-NE Championship title at M&T Vermont City Marathon
(Craftsbury Green Racing Project / Newport RI) is the USATF-New England Athlete of the Month for May 2022. On May 29, she won the USATF-NE Marathon championship at the
M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon
in a time of 2:39:18. The win bettered her second place finish in the 2018 race. and was both the third fastest Open Women's time and only the third sub-2:40 in the history of the event.
In March, Tuxbury took 2nd at the New Bedford Half Marathon, the USATF-NE Championship at the distance. After 3 races, Annmarie is 1st in the
USATFNE Road Grand Prix
The Vermont City Marathon win came just 6 weeks after Tuxbury placed 23rd among all women at the B.A.A. Boston Marathon in April where the former Bryant University standout ran a time of 2:38:15.
USATF-NE spoke with Annmarie about her performances and training.
: You have been a successful runner for several years at this point in your career. How did it all start for you - what really got you interested in running, and what keeps you going?
: In 8th grade, I ran the Litchfield Road Race in CT (7.1 miles). I had never done more than 3.5 miles before (with some walking mixed in), It was a very, very hot day, I got new sneakers just for the race and didn't wear socks, so my feet were destroyed after the race. To top it off, I ran my first mile in a personal best. So, overall, it was a very unpleasant experience and was shocking to finish.
Yet there was something about how uncomfortable and difficult it was that really hooked me and I enjoyed it. Up until that point, I was set on playing soccer in high school, and was on a boys travel soccer team. This race really put in my mind that maybe I should just run, and I ended up signing up for cross country that fall. I've been running since.
What keeps me running now is that I just love to run. Going for a 10-14 mile run after work is the most enjoyable part of my day. I am grateful to have found success these past couple of years, but when that success runs out I foresee myself continuing to run just because I love it. I love that running can be anything you want it to be on a given day. It can be a challenge when I want to push myself, or it can just be a relaxing activity after work.
: The last few months have been very successful topped off with your recent win at the M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon. What has training looked like for you, as you have been racing quite a bit?
My training is a little unconventional in general. I do not follow much of a schedule or plan, and for the most part take it day by day and do whatever I want each day. I generally have a mileage goal in my head for the week that I will try to not go over. I'm fortunate that I am highly motivated, really like to run, and really like running hard. So putting in the work is not an issue with this lack of structure, I just have to be careful to not overdo it. Prior to the Boston Marathon, I was running 105-115 miles a week with a long run of 20-22 miles and a second long run of about 16 miles during the week. I would try to get in a tempo or progression-type run and also a fartlek type
workout which were also fairly high mileage days. I do not particularly like doubling and would rather just do a single run of 12-16 miles on a day, but will double 2 to 3 times a week when running over 100 miles a week to make the week a little less tiring. In the six weeks between the Boston Marathon and Vermont City Marathon, I took two weeks fairly easy to recover, had two weeks in the 90's for mileage with a tempo and fartlek workout, and two weeks of tapering again.
Is there a single race that you can look back on over the years that you are most proud of?
I am really proud of my race at the 2018 Hartford Half Marathon. Throughout high school and college and my first couple years out of college, I went out very aggressively in races. I would try to run the time which would make me happy, and it was generally beyond my fitness level. I knew I probably would die but just didn't like playing it safe to run a time I knew I could run but wouldn't make me happy. I always hoped that one day I would be able to hold the pace. I'm not sure I believed I had the ability to ever hold the pace I would go out in, but I could take some satisfaction in that I wasn't afraid to try and fail repeatedly but keep trying. I probably would have much better races with a better strategy.
At the 2018 Hartford Marathon, despite having run 1:18:30s two years in a row, I wanted to run 1:14 and didn't care if that was 4 minutes faster than I had run. I went out at 5:40's and was so confused when I didn't die and held it to run 1:14:18! I am just proud that I stuck to running how I liked to and that made me happy even if it wasn't the best way, and that it eventually paid off! I definitely do not limit myself when I race, I like to give myself the chance to run a big PR when I race. Since that race, there have been other times it has paid off, although there can be some pretty ugly races as well that come with going out aggressively.
:You ran for Bryant University during your collegiate career. Are there any lessons or stories from collegiate running that still have a big impact on your life?
My biggest lesson from Bryant is to not self yourself short. I lacked a lot of confidence in college and do not think I gave myself the opportunity to be as successful as I could have been.
Who are your biggest inspirations and role models?
My biggest inspiration and role models are my grandparents. They are the toughest, most positive peoplel and have both qualities I admire and want for myself.
: Outside of running, what are your favorite hobbies?
Outside of running, I enjoy doing anything active. Hiking, kayaking, yoga, studio Barre, shooting basketball hoops. I have volunteered as a soccer coach at the YMCA and I enjoy doing that as well.
What are your plans for the coming years?
My plan for the future is to take it day by day. Work is my priority and running is a hobby, but I don't foresee myself ever stopping running as long as my body can handle it. I hope to continue to make gradual improvements in my running. I'm 28, and nowadays it seems, particularly in the distance events, women are running personal bests well into their 30's. So, I have a long way to go if I want to. I like staying in New England for races and that works out great as there are so many competitive opportunities here! I would love to try to make a World cross country, half marathon, or mountain running team and represent the United States internationally, but my goal is to continue to keep it fun.
: After a race, what is your favorite meal or treat to have?
I love a large hot cocoa with whole milk no matter how hot it is outside, with a bagel.
What advice would you give to your younger running self?
I would tell myself that happiness precedes success, both academically and athletically I thought if I achieved x,y and z it would make me happy. Had I focused on enjoying the experience, having a more relaxed and less result driven approach, I would have been happier and maybe would have met my goals or come closer. Happiness precedes success, not the other way around.
Is there anything else you would like to add or shoutout?
These past few years I have been fortunate to have an incredible training partner in the amazing masters runner Karoyln Bowley (
USATF-NE December 2019 AOM
), She literally dragged me through long runs in bad weather in the lead up to a Boston which resulted in a personal best for me, followed by the win at the Vermont City Marathon. Seeing how fast she has been running, particularly at the New Bedford Half Marathon, is so motivating and inspiring to me and I feel so lucky to get to run with her! I also have been fortunate to have the support of a great team with the Craftsbury Green Racing Project.