Guest Post: 5 Running Gear Essentials for a Dog Lover


Remember me? Tara, the girl who loves to run, workout, bake and taste delicious beers?

I apologize for another brief hiatus! I needed a quick break from the blogging world for a few weeks to focus on life in general.

Since, I still struggling to get my head on straight, I’d love to share a guest post from Anna Crowe regarding how to protect your furry friends while out and about. I know Kasa would love some of the gear Anna talks about!

5 Running Gear Essentials for a Dog Lover

You already know that running provides great exercise for you, but guess what? It’s great for your dog too!

In the same way that people can suffer from health issues due to being too sedentary, so can our canine companions. They may not be able to handle long mileage (it depends on your dog’s age, size, body density), but many medium to large sized dogs were born to run, and they’ll love you even more for taking them along.

“Getting your dog to be more active along side you provides incredible health benefits by helping them to maintain a healthy weight, which prevents diabetes, poor liver function, heart disease, joint problems and cancer,” said Dr. Eloise Bright, a veterinarian at Love That Pet.

However, just like when you first ventured in to running, you have to do a little prep work first.


First, you’ll want to ease your dog in to a routine and get him accustomed to running by gradually increasing time and distance. Secondly, you’ll want to make sure you have all the essentials for keeping your pup safe and thriving during your run. Here are our top 5 picks:

1.) Guardian Gear Safety Vest from Hot Dog Collars

Just like you should wear clothing that makes you visible to cars and other pedestrians when you’re out running, so should your dog. With your dog being closer to the ground and potentially blending in with your surroundings, having this safety vest will make sure your pup doesn’t get run into and that people can make room for him when your approaching each other.


2.) Hands-Free Leash from The Buddy System

This leash makes it so easy to keep proper form while running as well as keeping your dog close and in control. With a main loop that goes around your waist and other loops that clip to the leash, keeping your dog by your side is easy. There are various leash sizes you can purchase depending on the size and weight of your dog, and if you have a dog that likes to pull ahead, this leash is much easier to control with core strength rather than pulling at your arm.


3.) Dog Waste Bags from Earth Rated

This awesome pod keeps Buddy’s business from interfering or stinking up your run. The bag dispenser has a screw-on top and has a hook allowing for hands-free carrying, and it also comes with 15 lavender-scented bags that block odor, are tough and leak proof.


4.) Folding Collapsible Travel Food and Water Bowl from LULU-PET

Keeping fido hydrated is probably on of the most important precautions you can take when ensuring a successful run with your dog. This collapsible bowl is waterproof, portable (with a hook for easy, hands-free carry) and can hold up to 32 oz. of water or food.


5.) Sun Protector Spray from Epi-Pet

Yep, sunscreen isn’t just for people. Dogs with short and thin hair, white and light hair or white and pink skin are at risk for sunburn and skin/coat damage if they’re not properly protected. This spray by Epi-Pet is the only FDA compliant pet sunscreen and it acts as a skin protector and skin/coat conditioner. The other great thing is you don’t have to worry about the spray messing up your clothing or car seats as this spray is made with a non-greasy and non-oily solution.

So now that you know what you need to have a successful run with your dog, we say hit the ground running!

But we’ll warn you, dogs are very similar to people, so they might just get as addicted to running as you are!


Meet Anna, mom to Norman Larry, the basset hound, and world sailor. When Anna and Norman aren’t exploring another adventure or eating peanut butter, they can be seen hanging out at the local dog parks. Say hello @annaleacrowe.


I hope you enjoyed Anna’s guest post. I thought that it had a great deal of information. I’ve seen a lot of people using the hands-free leash and I know Kasa would love it. It would take some pressure off my shoulders from her all of 5 lbs of resistance when she likes to “pull.” 🙂

Do you use any of the products that Anna mentioned?

What is your favorite type of fitness activity with your pet?

How’s your November going?

XO, Tara



Baking on Memorial Weekend

I hope you are having a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend. I love the extra day off to relax or just sit around and catch up on shows. Since I have no plans for Memorial Day,  I am going to do just that. Living life on the edge, clearly. 

My parents went out of town (lucky dogs) and I was summoned to dog sit. No pun intended. I’m more than happy to snuggle with the pups and watch shows on demand. Sadly, I don’t have that capability at my pad. I have to stick with the basic 80 channels. Boo.

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Obviously, Kasa isn’t feeling as photogenic as usual. This is her “rough” look. 

After the snuggle sesh, I tried to run. Literally tried. I made in 1.45 miles before my knee said HELL NO. All I was thinking was WTF, WHY WHY WHY!! Should I run home or walk? I decided to walk and run home…Overall, I was pissed. Pissed that I cannot run without pain in my knee. Heck my blog name is PNW Runner. Should I change it to PNW Walker? Or PNW No Run? Sorry, I’ve been feeling so discouraged lately.

During the summer, I thrive to get out and run for hours and now I can barely get through a few miles. I immediately texted my mom with an angry face. Her response, bike? Well, my lazy ass let my bike at home. Go, me. 

Since I was in a defeated mood after my walk/run attempt, it was time to watch some quality TV and catch up on Instagram. After about an hour or so of doing “nothing” it was time to go hit the gym. I did an hour of cardio and watched Beach Front Bargain Hunt then hit the weights for a half hour or so. I love going to the gym on the weekends, because there are less people and I can attempt to try new machines without feeling like I’m a newbie . Heck, I rarely venture into the weight area due to the fact that I don’t want people judging me. I know, I shouldn’t care. 

I did a killer workout that was all over the place. You’d think I was loko.

Here’s what I did:

Rows with 40lbs 15×3

Dead lifts with 40lbs 15×3

Back extension machine at 60lbs 12 x3

Alt lunges with 40lb barbell 10×3

At lunges on a box with a leg lift 10×3

Squats with 40lb barball 10×3

Tricep extensions with 40lbs 10×3

20 Burpees

Captain chair leg lifts 10×3

Captain chair side leg lifts 10×3

See, I told you that I was all over the place. I’ll be feeling it tomorrow, I hope.

Since I am unable to run, I need to lift to get that definition in my quads and butt. I’m coming to terms that I will be lifting more than ever…this is different for me. BUT, I am okay with that.

Post workout, I headed home to feed the animals. I grabbed a growler and decided that it was a perfect night to bake. Guess what I baked? I found these laying around….


These beauties turned into this..


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Very delicious. I even tried a new recipe.

I found this Banana Bread recipe from Skinny Mom. I had to make a few modifications.

Preheat your oven to 330 degrees.


  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp light butter
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1½ cups whole wheat white flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup walnuts


Mix together in a separate bowl the butter, oil, sugars and vanilla extract.

Add in the mashed bananas and egg whites.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Don’t over mix.

Pour the batter into a bread pan and add cinnamon and walnuts on top.

Bake for 35 minutes and let cool.

I made a new modifications to the original recipe. I sprinkled cinnamon and walnuts on top. I think that it added a extra touch. Plus, I love cinnamon. Like I said, the recipe turned out perfect. Thank you Skinny Mom. 😀

I highly recommend you giving this recipe a try.

Okay, I’m off to watch more TV or walk the dogs or something….

XO, Tara

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Mother’s Day Weekend Shenanigans

Woah. This past weekend was full of shenanigans. It’s mother’s day weekend and all and I spent the entire weekend with the family.

Let’s start with Saturday. A local community nearby hosts an annual garage sale. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the best, but my mom and I managed to hit up some garage sales. I actually found a few items. Brace for it….


A mini rice cooker and a potato peeler. Score.

Following our epic garage sale searches, we went to an antique place in downtown Issaquah. Sadly we found fun items, but the prices were “too big.” I remembered that back in the day, we’d go to Snohomish to visit the antique shops. I kept this in my radar….Post antique shopping was cutting down a tree and random errands then dinner and a movie.

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We watched Labor Day. Overall, the movie was okay. It was slow in the beginning and that is hard for me. If it doesn’t catch me in the beginning you can find me on my phone or something. lol. We watched the entire movie though.

Sunday started off with a quick 4.5 mile run….sadly it didn’t end well. I swear that I’ve actually injured something in my hip and knee. I was in serious pain by the time I got home. I had the pleasure of limping all day on Sunday. Call me the gimp. I am actually really mad about it.

Post run, we went to Soaring Eagle to walk Kasa.


Just way too excited. She may have pee’d herself.

Following the walk, it was time to change the plans and head to Snohomish to go antiquing.

It was a beautiful day for a drive to Snohomish and I was determined to find some new items to the new place.


But first, a coffee.

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Mother’s Day cheers.



Do you recognize? Fred Flintstones “new” vehicle.


Joe and I just Pinterest-ing.


Got the window frame on the mantel. Still alot to be done. I’ll be spending alot of time of pinterest looking for ideas.

Overall, I had a great weekend minus the fact that my hip/groin/knee hurts alot when I run. I think that this year will not be a running year. Perhaps a biking year. I cannot believe that I am saying this. Maybe I need a doc’s opinion.

Anywho, this weekend was fabulous. On another note, I’ll be viewing a trial all week so there is a good chance that I’ll be MIA. I am warning you now.

That being said, have a great week!

What did you do for mother’s day weekend?

Do you like antique shopping?

XO, Tara

Couch Hopping At It’s Finest.

Here I am yet again complaining about my damn hip flexor. I thought I was okay until I decided to hit the pavement yesterday afternoon. I managed to get through five miles then went on a hour long hike through the trails with my mom and Kasa. Let’s just say, I was limping through the woods. Serves me right.


I’ll be the first one to admit that I am TERRIBLE about resting and not running especially when mother nature is begging me to come out and join in on the fun. I felt that it was necessary to get some fresh air after literally sitting on the couch ALL DAY on Saturday watching Games of Thrones Watchathon. I know you were right there with me.

I’d say that I managed to get through at least 5 episodes from the first season (step-dad has some catching up to do) and 4 episodes of the third season on Saturday morning/afternoon. To break up the day, I went to Costco to get food for din-din. Dinner was served on the couch while watching The Wolf on Wall Street.

Wolf-of-Wallstreet-585x370Overall, it was a good movie. Lots of sex, nudity, swearing, drugs, money and well….what else could you ask for? LOL. Kidding. Basically, be prepared if you are watching it with your family. Also, it is 3 hours long. I recommend having multiple glasses of wine or beer with the movie.

Let’s get back to the wonderful walk through the woods. Kasa loves the Soaring Eagle trails. She is able to be off leash (note: illegally) and run up and down the trails.

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Kasa in action.

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She found herself a bench. Declared it Kasa’s bench.

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Pretty flowers.


Nature just holds onto water droplets.

When the weather gets nicer people decide that it okay to venture outdoors. People shouldn’t be afraid of a little rain or colder weather. But now that it is Spring, we’ll embrace it even more! Loving the PNW as always.

So it is supposed to be 70 degrees today. I am tempted to run. So tempted…but maybe I should just do the elliptical or yoga or both? I’m in a pickle…We’ll see how the hip flexor is doing by this afternoon.

How was your weekend?

Any races or upcoming races?

XO, Tara

See what I am up too on: TwitterInstagram and Facebook

Be With Nature


With all the stresses that comes with life, it is time to channel them all out by embracing the beauty that nature holds. The outdoors provides us with the opportunity to learn, explore and grow. For me, taking a walk or run outside helps me put all the stresses aside. It gives me a sense of freedom where I can set aside all the worries. 

I believe that people need to get outside and soak up nature. Find a new trail, take your pup on a walk, explore the mountains, etc. It’s good for the soul.

What do you do to zone out?

Does nature calm you?

Have a great beginning to your week!

XO, Tara

First Day of School Jitters!

Happy Monday!

I hope your survived the snow storm that hit the PNW over the weekend. The Seattle area only got a few inches, but Portland was hit harder. Seattle basically just comes to a stop when anyone mentions the word “snow.” Drives me crazy.


I spy Kasa in her snow sweater!

Other than the snow, this weekend was pretty low key. I got a good 4.5 mile run in after my Flybarre class on Saturday morning and snuggled with Kasa while watching the Olympics. 


Isn’t she just precious?


She’s toooooo cute!


I snacked on some homemade dried apples! They weren’t too bad. 🙂

On Sunday, I went to Flywheel for some instructor training classes for Flybarre. There were two classes offered and I ended up taking both. Let me tell ya, my thighs were dying the second time around.


I stocked up on the NEW Quest Bars. Oh my gosh, they are to die for!

On another note, today is my first day at my new job! It is like the first day of school. Obsessing on what to wear, what to bring, lunch or no lunch, etc…

I am excited, nervous, scared, happy, and kind of want to throw up. Well, maybe not the throw up part…my stomach is just in knots. Everything will be fine, I tend to worry too much.

I cannot wait to tell you about my first day tomorrow.

Okay, it is time to head to work. Have a wonderful Monday!

XO, Tara

My dog can tell time.

I swear to god I have the most photogenic dog. Kasa has the most interesting faces. She goes from a super happy face, to a mad face, to an innocent face, to a confused face.015016 014Oh she cracks me up! You’d never know how obnoxious she can be. The never ending jumping on your leg, scratching at your face when you aren’t paying attention or the barking to mark “her” street.

I swear that Kasa can even tell time. She gets super antsy when the clock hits 6am and 5pm. Meal time!! She may not be able to literally tell me what time it is, but she understands how each day works. Typically this is what a day looks like: We get up, feed the pups, we leave, the pups hang out downstairs or outside, they bark, sleep, walk around and sniff. We get home, feed the pups, eat ourselves, hang out, watch TV and go to bed. Repeat, during the week with mild adjustments on the weekends. Sounds like Kasa has mastered this regime. After 8 years, I’d hope so.

Ultimately, I believe that I have one super cute and talented pup! 🙂 Don’t you love her sweater? lol.

Switching gears….Did I mention how sore my beee-hind is? Oh, I didn’t? Well, I am still sore from my lunge workout.

022I made this up on the fly and boy I am feeling it. I love lunges, basically for the fact that they help shape my booty and strengthen my quads too! Give it a go!

Does your dog(s) relate to mine?

Do you like lunges?

What is your favorite area to strengthen?

XO, Tara