When life gives you lemons, they say, make lemonade. And when life sends you off the rails, you find a new trail.
Okay, nobody actually says that second thing. I made that up on the spot. But it’s what I found myself doing a couple of months ago when I was laid off from my job as a reporter.
Okay, that’s rad, I guess. So who are you?
I’m a Fresno-based journalist and I’ve been running — mostly for fun, but I did run track and cross-country in high school — for most of my life. Although I was born and raised in Fresno, I spent most of my twenties living and working (in publishing, and later as a freelance journalist) in Chicago, where I started running marathons. And training with a jogging stroller. Because I was not about to let having an infant and a toddler get in the way of running.
Just when I got used to running in sub-zero temperatures (yes, really) and snow for a good part of the year, I moved with my husband and sons to the Bay Area. There, I scaled back on the marathons but continued to run recreationally and volunteer with youth running activities like Girls on the Run and the running/walking club at my sons’ elementary school.
So … how’d you end up back in Fresno?
In the summer of 2013, a job brought us back to Fresno. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit to spending a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and missing the life I’d left behind. I didn’t run for six months. Also in the interest of full disclosure, the reason I started running again was because it was something to do while I listened to a very dumb podcast, which dropped on Wednesday mornings.
By the summer of 2014, I realized my mileage was high enough that I could realistically begin training for longer races again. I decided to train for a fall half marathon and joined a local running club. I hadn’t been much of a social runner since high school, but the Fresno running community made me feel welcome and I found myself wanting to be more involved.
One thing I noticed was that while the Fresno-Clovis area has a large and diverse running community, it didn’t have a locally-oriented running or fitness publication like some of the other cities I’ve lived in. It was easy to find information about upcoming races, and our local running stores are great about reaching out to runners and helping build the community, but I knew I could do more.
It just took getting laid off from my job as a reporter to do it.
What, what, you’re a reporter?
Yup. I’m a writer by trade. My essays have appeared online at Scary Mommy/The Mid, Hello Giggles, The Huffington Post, Mamalode, The Manifest-Station, and the online verticals for Good Housekeeping and Redbook magazines, among others. I’ve also worked as a community news reporter in every city I’ve lived in. I wrote for Sun-Times media in Chicago and was the parenting columnist for Walnut Creek Patch. Most recently, I was a staff writer at The Fresno Bee, where I wrote for The Clovis Independent, North Fresno Neighbors, and Central Valley magazine.
During my time at The Fresno Bee, I got to write a lot of stories about the running and fitness community. It kind of became my thing.
I reported on clubs bringing elite-level training to school-aged track and field athletes, entrepreneurs introducing new workouts and studios to the local market, and movers and shakers in the local running community. In reporting on new fitness studios and group fitness classes, I cycled, saluted the sun, and “shook” to bring an extra bit of authenticity to my reporting. (I’ve even done aerial yoga. It’s pretty rad.)
Getting laid off wasn’t ideal. But it’s given me the opportunity to pursue something new.
So, welcome to Fresno Runner, the site I wish I’d had when I was new to Fresno and just getting involved in the running community. Here, you’ll find a little bit of everything. Expect local race previews and reports, athlete profiles, interviews, gear reviews, running tips and tricks, and general running inspiration. Fresno Runner has a regional focus, but the content is compelling enough to appeal to all runners.
Thank you for stopping by! Feel free to get in touch with suggestions for future story ideas. You can reach Fresno Runner via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message on our Facebook page.