Sunday, April 3, 2011

Still here

Wow, it was a busy week at the statistics ranch, and it looks like it will continue to be that way until the beginning of May.  I feel like I only have so much brain power, and when I spend all day frantically trying to herd SAS output into Excel tables, I don't have much left over for blogging.  Plus it makes me feel really boring.  So yeah... I've been a bad blogger, blog reader, and commenter, and I'm not expecting that to improve much over the next month.  But you, dear reader, I still love your blog.  I promise I'm not neglecting you, even if I'm too boring to come up with a good comment.

There have been a few fun and/or interesting things that happened in the past week.

Not my actual carotid artery, but that's
what it looked like.
1. I got to see a part of my anatomy that few people have seen before: my carotid artery.  One of our sister studies is doing carotid IMT measurements on participants, and they needed volunteers to get some practice images, so I signed up.  Basically, they ultrasound both sides of your neck to look for plaque buildup in the artery before and after it splits in two.  I'd never had an ultrasound done before so I was surprised by how uncomfortable it was.  Not painful or anything but on the order of getting your teeth cleaned.  One side went pretty quickly and easily and gave a nice image like the one to the right, but my bifurcation (where the artery splits) on my right side was really high, so the examiner had to ram the ultrasound wand up under my jaw to try to get a good image.  But it was worth it to watch the video they captured of my heartbeat and see the blood pulse through the artery.  Yay, science.

2. In what sounds like a plot from The Office, I carpooled to Appleton on Friday night to see the opening of an art exhibit a coworker put together at Lawrence University (which is beautiful, BTW).  I know nothing about art, so I don't have much to say about the whole thing, but I really liked some of the pieces and it was fun to do something different.

3. But we got home really late on Friday night and I decided to skip going to race in Black Earth.  It was a beautiful day, and I wanted to chill and enjoy the sunshine and just do my normal long run around town.  Between travel and other commitments, I don't have any other races on the schedule for this spring, so I'm going to let my training happen as it will and take advantage of the opportunity to do more yoga and strength work.

4. Despite the snow storm we had on Friday (nature's cruel April Fool's joke) it seems like it's genuinely trying to be spring now.  We are forecast to crack the 60s this week and are finally getting a meaningful amount of sunshine.  Little green things (flowers?  I think I remember what those are.) are starting to sprout.

Time to get moving!  Hope you have a relaxing Sunday.