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December 11, 2012 / fionarwbl

Things I’m Loving Right This Second: Strava, Gold Skirts, and Wine

Not so much running going on here, so instead I’ll share some other random discoveries I’ve made over the last few days that have dramatically improved my life.

Crazy stats, awards, and performance measurement. What more could a data-fiend want?

Crazy stats, awards, and performance measurement. What more could a data-fiend want?

  1. Strava. I discovered Strava through this fascinating article in Outside this month. Strava is an online performance metrics and community for runners and cyclists. Apparently it is huge with the cycling folk, but there is a decent amount of running activity in there as well. I have spent the last hour or so uploading my running data from iSmoothRun (another obsession!) into my Strava account. Every time I upload, I get a cool refresh on my personal records on certain course “segments”, both against myself and other New York runners. I’m already Queen of the Mountain (QOM) on at least one course segment, but I’m sure as Strava gains more popularity with the running crowd. I’m also drawn to the challenges that come up, such as running 50k in a weekend, or 100 miles in seven days. Sure, I’ll be low down on the leaderboard, but there’s a certain challenge in getting out there. If you are a data driven runner, or love competition, even with yourself, you will love Strava.
  2. Astor Wines 10 under 10. Yeah, a bit of a pivot from Strava, but still vitally important. The wine stores around me don’t tend to have a lot in the $10 range, and what they have is very generic and from the larger vineyards. Astor’s 10 under 10 is actually 12 bottles of wine for $80, and provide a wide range of wines that I wouldn’t necessarily have known about or tried. You can also subscribe for a monthly delivery service. I haven’t signed up for that. Yet.
  3. Memrise is a learning website that I discovered through Joshua Safran Foer’s article on learning a language in 22 hours. My husband is Israeli, and yet my knowledge of Hebrew is depressingly limited. I’ve tried multiple times to learn, and have been put off each and every time by the impenetrability of the alphabet (aleph-bet). Memrise uses multiple learning techniques based on mnemonics and repeated testing to plant the “seeds of memory” in my mind. So far I’ve managed to make far more progress in 2-3 minute bursts of learning throughout the day than I have in the focused learning sessions I have had before. There are a ton of courses on there, from languages to history to trivia, and right now it’s all completely free.
  4. Jaunty angle photo pose. It's arty, I swear

    Jaunty angle photo pose. It’s arty, I swear

    This gold skirt I bought in Copenhagen. My sister talked me into it, and I have already worn it twice, and every time it has been a complete success. It’s gold, glitzy, and yet because it’s a little longer, it’s not “SPARKLES!!” (not that there is anything wrong with that!), and I can go dressy with gorgeous girly heels like I did last weekend, or cool with my black ankle boots like I did the weekend before. Multiple purpose skirt win.

  5. olympicrings olympicsconstructionworkers olympicsthisisforeveryone olympicsnhs
  6. Reading the end of year round ups has reminded me how fricking awesome the Olympics opening ceremony was. I get that a lot of people will totally not understand it, but the site of (a) the rings being forged (b) the beautiful NHS light show (c) Tim Berners Lee’s “This (the internet) is for everyone” and (d) the honor guard of the construction workers who created the stadium made me well up and be proud. Oh, and who can forget the fact the QUEEN parachuted in??!! Amazing.

Any crazy obsessions right now? I’ve just found out that I’m 48 miles from 1,000 for the year. I’m pretty confident I can hit that in 20 days…

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2 Comments

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  1. Kiersten / Dec 12 2012 4:36 pm

    I love that memrise site. I wasted a good hour on it last night!

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