It’s running season, and time to whip my lazy butt back into shape! It’s funny because while I haven’t exactly gained a significant amount of weight (in fact not at all really), my body has changed a lot, especially around my midsection 😫. All that muscle and strength I had built over the years from weightlifting & breaking have now all gone to s#!t since settling down in Japan.

I’ve especially been wanting to get back into running, but with Sapporo’s half-year long winters, that’s kind of been difficult. By this time though, you probably read that I’ve transitioned into a new job that has allowed me to free up a tremendous amount of time — I am now able to pursue personal interests, running included, with minimal hassle.

With that said, while I do enjoy running, one of the pain points that really annoyed me when heading out for a run was having to carry my essentials in my pockets. Every time I ran, it was always extremely uncomfortable to feel my phone, keys, and/or wallet jingle in my pockets, sometimes pulling down whatever I was wearing (i.e. my hoodie, shorts).

Heading into Spring 2018, I made a resolution to at least get back into running, and part of what motivated me was recently seeing some joggers running with some stylish running ‘backpacks’ — something I’d never seen. For some reason, this pocketless solution never occurred to me, or maybe I just thought fanny packs were the only thing out there for this, and I am not wearing a damn fanny pack 😂

I stopped by a local sports shop in the city during one of my lunch breaks, and found exactly what I needed!

This is the Martin Wing LT Technical Pack by The North Face. Copped this bad boy for 7000 yen, and I am extremely satisfied with my purchase!

Heading out for a run has been so much more enjoyable now that I can put all my essentials in this running pack. The pack is practically weightless since it’s made from mesh and nylon. And since I can securely lock it onto my back, it doesn’t feel like I’m carrying anything.

The Essentials: wallet, pocket wifi, phone, keys, IC cards (JR + Subway), airpods

Before when I used to go out for a run without a pack, I’d usually just take my keys, phone + earphones (during the pre-airpod days), and maybe some money and/or my IC cards in case I decided to call a quits mid-run and take the subway back home. Now after since purchasing my running pack, my essentials increased by about three items, and that’s because running with them still feels weightless! Wearing the pack is super comfortable too, it’s like it’s not even there.

I really liked the black option — it’s got this tactical Batman vibe to it <3. There’s two main compartments, the top pocket and the bottom main pocket. The top pocket has a key latch and enough space to fit a phone, or other small items in there. The main inner pocket is divided into two sections, the inner which is the side against my back, and the outer. It’s got enough room to fit a hydration pack, and in fact, the design allows for the tube of a hydration pack to run through either side of the shoulder areas. A light windbreaker or towel could also fit in there as well.

I always used the free NRC (Nike+ Run Club) app to track my runs. It’s simple to use, and after the initial setup, I can just get to running. It seems the app has been updated quite a bit since the last time I used it, the ‘Guided Runs’ in particular was something I took a liking to. They have pre-set times and distances to choose from. But my personal favorite is to just hit that ‘Quickstart’ button, and go!

Today’s run felt good — 4.36 km within 30 minutes. Not bad at all since getting back into it, but I’m hoping to set some solid 5K runs soon. My other goal is to eventually do a run from my home to Sapporo Station, which is 8.2km. According to my six-and-a-half minute kilometer average for the time being, that distance should take me about 50min to maybe an hour to complete the run. I’m hoping to do that by June or July maybe, we’ll see. For now, I’m just enjoying the blissful sounds of nothingness in my pockets when jogging 🙂