Lets go for a run in my yard

A few years ago I covered my front yard with a layer of flattened cardboard boxes and newspapers. With several pickup loads of chipped wood that I got free from a tree-thinning project at a nearby state park, I covered them up and said good-by to my lawn.

My front yard before I changed it

My front yard before I changed it

On Craigslist I found a woman giving away river rock for free. I dug up a bunch of common indigenous plants, mostly bunch grasses, that wouldn’t need any watering. It took several days of work over 1-2 months, but doing it entirely myself, and for a total cost of $44.10, most of which was for gas for the pickup I borrowed, I turned my lawn into a nature preserve.

My front yard today

My front yard today

The wood chips I got from the state park had lupine and ponderosa pine seeds that eventually sprouted and made my preserve even more beautiful. The lupines have really proliferated which is good because I like their purple flowers. With each passing year, the plants get thicker.

My front yard has led to a great fringe benefit. Instead of driving for miles when I feel like doing a run in the country, I run in my yard.

I’ve created several routes, and I call my favorite Lupine Lane. It’s a figure 8 on one side of my yard. I usually do it when I want to put in six miles, which means 1,084 laps. Sounds like a lot, but they add up fast.

i like to do high mileage runs once or twice a week

Doing my favorite front yard route – Lupine Lane.

My second favorite route is Country Fields. It follows the property line around my entire front yard. I like to use it for speed workouts.

When I invite friends over for a group run, we do a course I call Whispering Pines. The trail is wide, and we pass right by the front door, making a detour inside for water convenient.

Coming off the corner during a demanding interval workout

Coming off the corner during a demanding interval workout

Though my yard is thick with drought tolerant native plants, I can still get around on the running paths

Though drought-tolerant native plants are thick, I can still get around on the running paths

I really enjoy my front yard preserve. It saves on my utility bill, it’s low-maintenance, and I think it looks prettier than a lawn. However, one thing it is not is a running course. I don’t really go distance running in my front yard. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Lets go for a run in my yard

  1. Well, I may not be beautiful, but you can run in my back yard anytime Jim! I have 40 acres and each side is 1/4 mile. So, if you run the entire perimeter once, you get a full mile. I don’t call my property a nature preserve but it is mostly native plants, which I spent $00.00 and no time at all making it look that way. I do like your sage brush Zone. That reminds me a lot of central Washington. You even have some rocks which almost resemble cliffs! Amazing job well done Jim! Do you think you could make my 40 acres look like central Washington?

    • Jim, thanks for the compliments. However, I cannot take on your project. At the pace I work at, converting 40 acres to a central Washington landscape would take around 14 years.

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