Episode 9: “Take that Baby Step” with Tara Jo Thomas

BB Episode 9


Episode 9:  “Take that Baby Step” with Tara Jo Thomas


Tara Jo Thomas, 2020 KDF Ambassador, mom, and Army wife shares her passions and future goals with us in this fun episode.  Tara Jo shares with us how her unhealthy habits led her to start a running journey she never imagined.  And, little did she realize joining a running club would help her find her current passion project; she helps motivate moms to get out and run…with their strollers!  An OG of the Louisville Moms Run This Town stroller crew, she loves getting moms out to run and connect with other moms! You will laugh and get motivated with Episode 9, just “Take that baby step.”!

Show Notes:

Tara Jo on Instagram

Level Up Run Coaching

Moms Run This Town/She Runs This Town – Louisville, KY 

Derby Festival Marathon Ambassadors


World Refugee Day – Be a part of the movement with a virtual 5K!

WRD5K blue_cropped

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the World Refugee Virtual 5K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

From time to time I will hear runners question the value of running a virtual race.  For me, it is typically about running to raise awareness and/or funds for a favorite cause.  I figure if I am healthy enough to run a 5K or more, surely I can put my gift of health and fitness towards helping others, right?  If you feel the same way, consider the World Refugee Day 5K, which is happening around the globe now through June 20th, 2019!

I will be running on June 20th (in Canada), along with many of my fellow BibRave Pros. Join us!  Your registration also includes a donation to the work of American Refugee Committee (ARCRelief.org). According to the website, ARC is able to bring more than 35 years of expertise in services – like health care and sanitation – that are critical to refugee communities.

The Details
Join us:
Virtual 5k Run/Walk to celebrate World Refugee Day
WorldRefugeeDay5K_Images-01When: May 20th – June 20th
What you get: Exclusive World Refugee Day 5k Hat and Commemorative Race Bib

Register to run anywhere, anytime between now and June 20th:  https://raceroster.com/events/2019/23485/world-refugee-day-5k-virtual-run

Use code BR5 for $5 off your registration!

I am already registered.  I hope you will join me for a great cause! Comment below if you plan on running during World Refugee Day, too.


Here are a few other BibRave Pros thoughts on this cool virtual race!

Run Nerd Girl

Barking Mad about Running

Daddy, Did You Win?

Running for Coffee

Blind Girl Fit

3 Dot Juan

Scoot A Doot

Run Becky Run

Ken Stands On Things

Brenda Runs


The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast: Episode 8

BB Episode 8


Episode 8: “Keep Moving Forward” with Donna Yurt Giovenco, RDN, LD, CN, ACSM-CPT

In Episode 8, Stephanie chats with Donna Giovenco, RDN, LD, CN, ACSM-CPT.  Donna has an amazing running resume that includes earning a BQ and completing Ironman.  We find out more about how Donna started running and what running has brought to her life, including great friends, her husband and an attitude that inspires new and seasoned runners alike!  Donna has some great advice for new runners who might be hearing their inner critic and she shares how she has been able to deal with her own inner critic to achieve her goals. You do not want to miss this health enthusiast’s inspirational words of wisdom.

Show Notes

Donna’s blog (and social media account) page



The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast: Episode 7 – “Don’t Overthink It” with Abby Auger



BB Episode 7


The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast: Episode 7 – “Don’t Overthink It” with Abby Auger

Get to know Abbi Auger in this episode! Abbi is an Ironman, Ultrarunner, Achilles Athlete and all-around BAMR.  Hear more about Abbi’s running journey, including how she balances training with life, advice she gives new runners, as well as her take on living with Bechet’s disease.  Abbi has a contagious spirit and is always willing to help motivate her fellow athletes. We hope you benefit from her take on running, and life in general, which is: “Don’t Overthink It’.


Click here now:  https://anchor.fm/BluegrassBAMR/episodes/E7-Dont-Overthink-It-with-Abbi-Auger-e40bcs or find it anywhere you listen to your podcasts.

Episode 5 of the Bluegrass BAMR podcast is now available!

BB Episode 5

E5: Happy BAMR’s Day: Special Episode with the Bluegrass BAMR boys

In Episode 5, Stephanie interviews her sons, Cole and Vance. The boys describe the beginnings of their running journeys at ages 4 and 6, respectively, and provide encouraging words to kids who might be thinking about taking up the sport of running or triathlons. Also, in celebration of Mother’s Day, they have some encouraging words of advice for moms who run. This lighthearted interview takes you into the minds of 10 and 12 year old kids and what they think BAMR means.

Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro Review


Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I have to say, I was pretty excited when BibRave asked for endurance athletes to test out the new Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro. I have some friends who only wear Orange Mud gear that have really been talking up the products, so I was happy to see what all the hype was about.

The vest comes in several colors (I chose orange) and includes a 1 Liter bladder. It also has optional trekking pole attachments for those that carry poles.

The Fit.

My first impression when I took the vest out of the box was “How are these straps going to work on a woman’s chest?”.  I have been wearing a vest made by women for women, so I was really used to something that was comfortable and had the proper fit.  My other thought when I pulled the vest out of the box was, “Wow! This is really lightweight!”  I quickly reread the instructions on how to fit the vest (adjust the side straps first) and realized that the straps were highly adjustable to customize for any woman or man, regardless of their chest size.


The largest difference I noticed when putting on this vest in comparison to the other two vests I own is how much higher up it sits on the body.  This is not a criticism, just a difference that I noticed almost immediately.  About 2 miles into the run, my back felt so much cooler than it does with my other packs! I loved this part about the vest the most. (My other vests run most of the way down the middle of my back where this pack does not.) I get sweaty underneath the pack, so the Orange Mud product really does make a difference in terms of keeping me cool/dry.

The Storage.

On my first run with the pack, I prepared by placing all items I would normally have on a long run with me into the pack… nutrition, water bladder in the back, one soft flask up front, my keys, cell phone, gum, chapstick, and first aid items.  It was a tight fit but I did get it all in there.  I did notice that there were not many zippers like my other packs and hoped nothing fell out along my run.  (Everything stayed intact!)

The bladder that is included worked well. It seems slimmer than my other bladder and the bite valve works well. I love that the site has a section on how to clean your bladder (I always get questions about this from other people new to vests). I typically use two soft flasks up front I can refill but this bladder will come in handy on my long bike rides or ultra marathons for sure! I look forward to testing this out on my bike rides in the coming weeks (it has been raining a lot here, so I haven’t taken my bike off the trainer yet this Spring).

The First Race.

I tested the vest out on a few shorter runs and then actually wore it during the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon Relay in April.  I had to wait at my relay exchange point for two hours, so it was nice to have the vest packed with nutrition and my hydration as I waited. Bonus: I was able to carry the relay baton in my vest INSTEAD of in my hand! I would never have thought to use this for a shorter race (I ran 9 miles) but in this case, it definitely came in handy!

All in all, I can see why my friends love this product. I am really enjoying the fit of the vest, although the higher ride up on the front took me a bit to get used to, I do not notice the vest on at all now.

If you would like to try out Orange Mud products, check out the website here.  They have a complete line of gear, clothing, and accessories for the avid hiker, cyclist or runner.  Really, anyone that loves the outdoors can find something on their site.  While you are there, use code BIBRAVEGVPRO for 15% off any purchase!

See what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say about this vest below.

Christine: Fit Newton 

Episode 4 of The Bluegrass BAMR Podcast

BB Episode 4.png

E4: “Shell Shocked” with Norma Currey

In Episode 4, Stephanie introduces you to Norma Currey, who restarted her running journey at age 50. Hear a little about how Norma got back on track with running after making the decision to take charge of her own health. She shares her running highs, lows and her unintentional start of the Louisville, KY Moms Run This Town/She Runs This Town “Turtle Club”.  Her enthusiasm for running and her friends is sure to inspire and motivate others thinking about restarting their own running journeys.

Show Notes/References
Moms Run This Town/She Runs This Town


Episode 2: Firsts with Allison Reid – Listen to the Bluegrass BAMR podcast now.


Bluegrassbamr block podcast 2

In this episode, I sit down to chat with Allison Reid, co-leader of Moms Run This Town/She Runs This Town in Louisville, KY and one of my best running friends (BRF). We discuss “firsts” in running journeys, as well as lessons learned in training. If you are a busy parent training for a “first” race, there are great tips and insight from Allison in this episode.  Click here to listen now!


Show notes:

Learn more about the Louisville Chapter of Moms Run This Town/She Runs This Town here.  You can request to join our private Facebook group here.

Visit the National Moms Run This Town site here.


My podcast is LIVE!

Bluegrassbamr block podcast

I did it! My podcast is now live.  GULP.  I am so excited…and nervous. Listen in and let me know what you think!

The Bluegrass BAMR podcast is really a way to share stories of amazing women runners and the people that support them. I feel that there are so many amazing stories about women runners in Kentucky and my goal is to help share these stories to inspire and motivate others.

I plan on interviewing lots of runners, not all of them identify as women! The old saying, “It takes a village…” applies to runners also. So, sit back, relax and listen. I hope you find as much joy and inspiration in these stories as I do!

You can listen and subscribe now at this link:  https://anchor.fm/BluegrassBAMR

ShadyRays Shades – Live Hard? They’ve Got You!

shadyraysDisclaimer: I received a pair of Shady Rays Shades to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Sunglasses and I have a sordid past. My favorite ones usually don’t last long and I think it is because I am a little hard on them.  I have a pair of polarized shades but recently parted ways (read: I lost them) with my non-polarized pair, so I was excited to get the chance to try out some new shades as a BibRave Pro.  The Shady Rays Signature Series Blackout style seemed like just the right pair for me. I love wearing non-polarized lenses for trail running; I feel like I can see in front of me better than with polarized lenses. And, these sunglasses have 100% UV protection, which all runners need. But, I also loved that the company really promotes the durability of their product. I am a mom (which means kids sometimes accidentally get a hold of my sunglasses) and I run, but I also like to bike, swim, hike and just in general play hard. These definitely could be put to the test with my lifestyle.

I was dedicated to another brand of sunglasses, but after using these shades for a few weeks, I can definitely see the appeal of trying out other Shady Rays styles as well as their polarized lenses.  Here are the reasons why I am digging Shady Rays:

  • Lightweight – I can barely feel these on my face! They don’t move when I run either.
  • Stylish – I have the Signature Series, Blackout (non-polarized) style seen below; this is a classic frame that never goes out of style!
  • Affordable – There is a nice price range for all budgets!
  • Mission  – With every order placed, the company secures 10 meals to fight hunger through Feeding America. 
  • Live Hard Warranty – lifetime craftsmanship warranty & free replacements
  • They offer prescription options for eyeglasses and sunglasses as well as snow goggles.
  • You can purchase gift cards online for your friends!

I have worn these for several weeks now in rain, cloudy and sunny conditions and I would highly recommend them for others with an active lifestyle on a budget.

Visit ShadyRays.com and use code “RAVE” good for 50% off 2+ pairs from the Shade Shop!


Find Shady Rays on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

Don’t just take my word for it! Find out what my fellow BibRave Pros think about Shady Rays:

Ken Stands on Things ,  

I Run on Beer

Stephanie Does Her Own Stunts

Run Katy Run