Slushy, Muddy, Blah!

Greetings from Minnesota. Well, it came. Our first snow of the season started early Saturday morning, and flakes were still falling well after dark.

We haven’t had many hard freezes yet, and the weekend temps hovered right around 30 degrees. When we get snow without frozen ground at the farm, what ensues is a wet, muddy mess. As a less than graceful (read clumsy) individual, I was happy I avoided landing face-first in the slippery sludge 😉

I like to photograph picturesque or interesting scenes, but the reality of farming is often less than idyllic. Sometimes grey skies and muddy ground is just a fact, and if I’m going to try to embrace different seasons I might as well document them! Do you see someone attempting to get muddy paws?…

In the midst of all this, we need to make sure our animals stay dry. Bedding them with fresh straw is always important, and especially so during damp weather. The ladies below are about 5 months old, and they enjoyed snacking on their bedding in addition to nestling in it!

Straw is just the dried stalk leftover once grains like wheat or oats are harvested. It doesn’t have a lot of nutrients like alfalfa hay, but it is still a dry forage and cattle like to munch on it when it’s freshly added – We timed bedding right before feeding so we could promptly give the calves grain and hay so they didn’t eat too much straw!

Running Tales

I didn’t run at all this weekend, but I feel I did some major cross training.
When I blog it seems I mention an activity like riding bike for 30 minutes, but fail to discuss a full 8+ hours of outdoor work on a given weekend day. With some extra projects at the farm and dealing with the snow and mud, I just didn’t find the time to run. When I have a free morning it can be hard to peel myself out of bed and put on my running shoes. When I don’t have time to run because of other activities it’s amazing how much I want to.

A long, slow run would have been nice, but instead I ended the week with a whopping 11.3 miles. It’s not that I slacked off or missed an essential training run. I also don’t feel guilty or remorseful. I just would have enjoyed the act and feeling of getting in some more miles this week. Is that weird?

I got my running fix today with a little over 4 miles at noon, clad in tights and jacket; fingers and ears covered. The verdict? I got too warm. Even with snow on the ground, I don’t need a lot of layers at 30 degrees if the wind is light. It was slow going, and I’d forgotten how easily heavy, damp snow gets stuck to the bottom of my shoes. Alas, I think this is the start to a good week.

To reiterate my question above, do you enjoy the act of running independent from checking it off your training list or the physical benefits it gives?

How do you deal with the muddy, not-quite-frozen weather?

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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3 Responses to Slushy, Muddy, Blah!

  1. sweatykid says:

    I do enjoy aspects of running independent of the physical benefits. I love the journey, the process, and the alone time. That said, I like the physical benefits and being able to log it down, too.

    We have black ice on the roads for the first time tonight! Looks like I might have to consider strapping the Yaktrax onto my sneakers tomorrow morning. I much prefer muddy slush to ice — easier to see, … much tougher to stay clean, though.

    It’s seriously impressive that you get hours and hours of farm-related physical activity, yet you still manage to run on a regular basis on top of that. I feel like I’d be way too tuckered out to run. The rest of us are a bunch of sedentary hacks when it comes to our day jobs. On the contrary, it seems like farm life means that physical activity is a given — and not just some hobby at a gym after work.

    I smiled at the idea of cows eating their bedding — I just had a vision of myself chewing on my quilt.

    • Lisa says:

      I thought about a title something along the lines of “chewing on your bedding” but decided it may scare away potential readers! Also, I must admit that I love recording my miles in my log, and I like the physical act of running too. For some reason I really missed the “feeling” of running this weekend, but I should clarify that the other parts/benefits are still important to me. Thanks for your latest post. It was just what I needed to read!

  2. Brit says:

    I enjoy both the act of running and the feeling of accomplishment when I log my runs. I think the balance between the two is what keeps me going consistently. Some days I’m out there for the run, other days it is merely so I can get satisfaction from writing down what I achieved.

    I’m sure that before long I will be comiserating over slushy and icy runs, but for now our weather is staying somewhat mild.

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