Good Eats

Greetings from Minnesota! We’re back to more seasonable temperatures in the 20’s, but at least the sun has started making an appearance most days.

Here at the farm our blog calf, Etta, has had her culinary routine switched up a bit.

First, I should probably back up and remind you of some calf nutrition info…

At the beginning of a calf’s life on our farm their first solid food is whole corn and protein pellets. We give them a small amount of corn/pellet mixture as soon as they’re just a few days old.

Some start to nibble on it sooner than others, and calves seem to especially like having something crunchy to chew on at a young age.

They also start to taste the fresh straw in their hutches. Once they move out of hutches we continue to feed corn and pellets, and the calves also start getting dry hay.

Once they reach about 4 months old, they are ready to enter the world of ground corn. ๐Ÿ™‚

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There are differing thoughts on what type and when it’s best to give different feeds, but this works for us. The ground corn is supposed to be more easily digestible and allow the calf to get more of the nutrients.

Along with the ground corn they get mineral and canola meal (for protein) and then plenty of hay.

Etta is in a new pen in the barn now, and for some reason she’s becoming easier to photograph. Maybe mellowing out a tad as she gets older? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Running Tales

It just clicks.

That’s the best way I can describe it. More than even my marathon training last spring, this training cycle just feels right.

For one, I know I’m paying a lot more attention to “rules” which I’ve previously ignored.

I’ve heard countless times that you shouldn’t pile the majority of weekly mileage into your long run, and yet in the past I’d end up only running 10 miles during the week with 14 planned for Saturday morning.

I also know that weekly speedwork is beneficial AND easy runs are critical too. Yet in the past it seems I ran nearly all my runs at that tempting comfortably hard pace.

I dismissed the truly easy runs as worthless, and I didn’t get out and run hard like I should either.

I’ve also made the mistake of attempting to do speedwork where I’d literally sprint my 400’s, or whatever the distance. After one or two I’d be so exhausted I just moved straight to cool down.

Well, something is different this time. And it’s not only about following the “rules.”

My body is somehow responding to my early alarm, and I’ve hardly missed any planned runs these past weeks.

I’m telling myself I can, and maybe that’s the most important step.

I run easy, and I run hard. I rest. Last week my long run was about 30% of my weekly mileage – much better than over 50%!

I feel good (and sometimes sore) and I know I’m making progress. And that 5K PR last weekend didn’t hurt either.

I know it’s early in training, but I think I just may have turned over a new leaf in 2012. Not only am I on the path to becoming a stronger, more balanced runner, but maybe I can carry this success into other areas of my life too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.
This entry was posted in Baby Calf Care, Henrietta (Etta for short!), Running and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Good Eats

  1. bearrunner says:

    Wise training method! You will notice improvements running more during the week and not logging a high majority of your miles on one day… It also can be beneficial planning a semi long day during the week. 3 factors make for improvement… a speed day, tempo day and long… all the other runs should barely work up a sweat and be run very comfortable like you could run all day…

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for the comment. This is so true & I’m beginning to realize that! My goal is to try & have at least one 6-8 mile run during the week. Is it okay if this longer mid-week run is also my speed or tempo day? Or is it better if it is an easy run?

      • Anna says:

        I make it the same run. For example, I warm-up with an easy mile, use the next 4 or 5 miles to run at tempo pace or to do a speed workout (I do less for speed than tempo), then cool down for a mile. I have 3 key runs per week…as bearrunner says: long, tempo and speed. I fill in a couple of other days with either cross-training or easy runs. I’m yet to feel that ‘click’ though! It still feels like I’m battling to keep pace. Still….12 weeks to go! There’s time to get there. It sounds like you have it well under control!

      • Lisa says:

        That’s generally what I’ve been doing – making my longer run a speed or tempo. Just good to know it makes sense to others as well. I don’t know that I’ve got it all figured out, but at least for now I’m injury-free & making progress!

  2. Dana says:

    I have a cow care question ๐Ÿ™‚ All this talk about food leads to the inevitable poop question! How do you manage it? Can you reuse if for fertilizer? How often do you scoop (?) it?
    Inquiring minds want to know LOL!
    Hey, it’s a valid question….

    • Lisa says:

      Definitely a valid question! Answer is, it varies. For our milking cows we scarpe the alley ways of each pen & scrape manure out of stalls at each milking. This manure gets scraped through slots in the middle of the barn & gets pumped into our manure pit. The pit is lined with such thick, quality clay that it is listed as impermeable for hundreds or even thousands of years. (We are lucky to have quality clay soils in our area.) The calves & heifers continue to get fresh bedding everyday & every few months we haul out all the built up straw/manure and that gets spread on fields that need the nutrients/organic matter. I suppose it sounds weird that we let the calf bedding build up, but with the straw all the wet soaks to the bottom and there’s always dry straw on top. Etta’s pen actually is due to be emptied out quite soon, but you can see she’s still clean (&happy!)

      We work with an environmental consultant to plan out where and when all the liquid manure from our manure pit will be spread. We actually have to file a plan with the government on our nutrient management plans, so everything is done to use the manure wisely & in a way that’s healthy for the land and water. Guess this answer got pretty big! Let me know if you want more.

      • Dana says:

        Wow I would’ve never thought that you had to work with an environmental consultant for the distribution of poop ๐Ÿ™‚ All very interesting info though! Thanks for sharing!

      • Lisa says:

        No problem! As far as the consultant, we aren’t required to work with anyone, but it really helps us keep track of all regulations and make sure we’re doing the best job we can.

  3. I feel like that too about my current training plan – I’m training smart and mixing up my workouts, not being scared to run an “easy” pace which saves my energy to really push on other runs. Good job!

  4. So I have to comment about the cows: they are so cute! As a complete city girl, I’m living vicariously through your pictures of cute baby cows. I’m always wanted to pet a cow…they seem like really sweet animals.

  5. Terzah says:

    I loved reading about your training cycle. Those are the best kind. I’m struggling a bit with mine this week between my back issue and some difficulty getting out of bed when I should.

    • Lisa says:

      Sorry to hear. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Make sure you give yourself enough time to rest & deal with the therapy. Maybe you can’t do as much as you’d like just now, but hopefully when treatment is through you’ll be back stronger than ever!

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