Half-Marathon Training Week 18: Prepping for the Race

Matt elevation

That constant upward trend on this graph is a mountain. Make no mistake, that was a pretty hard run to traverse.

It’s finally here. The Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon goes off in less than two weeks. That also means this will be my final post of the series before the race. My colleague Alyssa Young will post next week. Then we’ll both have a post-race wrap-up column to celebrate how we did out there with all of you.

In my last column, I told you that I was going to be running the Run Wild at the Zoo 10K and share my results. At the time, I had hoped to finish with a personal best in that race of at least a few minutes faster than the 51:54 I finished last year. Well, I didn’t finish as fast as I wanted, but I did set a personal course record and bested my time by a whopping three seconds. Okay, so it’s not the best outcome, but it does show some improvement. And make no mistake, it’s a tough race. After the first 2 miles, it’s nothing but mountain.

This week will be a bit lighter than last with a threshold pace run of three 1-mile repeats and a 10-mile long and slow distance run. For the rest of the week, you should string together three or four more easy runs, but don’t push yourself too hard. You have a race coming up.

Looking ahead to race day, there are a few things you need to do in advance to ensure you have a good race. Read More »

LVHN and Baum Art School Unveil Two New Murals for Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital

long Children's Hospital muralLehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and the Baum School of Art on Thursday unveiled two new murals at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

The Baum School has offered this summer mural program for several years and was proud to partner with LVHN this year. “This has been a wonderful experience for our students to not only learn the process of mural painting, but to know that the art they create can lift the spirits of guests, especially children, in the hospital’s waiting room,” says Baum School executive director Shannon Slattery Fugate.

The first mural, displayed in the John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center’s radiation oncology department waiting area, was created by teen art students, under the direction of Baum School faculty member Rosemary Geseck. For six weeks this summer, Geseck and 12 Baum School students worked on-site at the cancer center to paint the mural. The subject matter, an impressionist landscape with hidden animals, was chosen by a committee of hospital employees that is working to create a more child-friendly space for guests in their waiting room. Read More »

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Half-Marathon Training Week 16: Mini-Competitions and Mental Breaks

Matt Burns runningIn case you missed my colleague Alyssa Young’s column from last week, you can still read it. She gave some excellent advice for surviving your marathon training, and it touches on subjects that don’t occur to me on a regular basis. I encourage everyone to check it out and to at least start thinking about how to stay safe while running on the trails.

Now, let’s move on to new business. Sometimes the long miles we log while training for the Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon or Half-Marathon can wear on you. I’m not talking about just the physical toll, the aches and pains and generally tired legs. That’s par for the course and comes with the territory. No, I’m talking about the mental aspects. Sometimes you just need a bit of a break. For me, this manifested into two different ways in the last two weeks.

The first was a break from the normal routine while out on the always fantastic Lehigh Valley Parkway. I got into a rut on the trail. I was just running to get some quality miles outside. Granted, it was a beautiful evening to be outside, but it was also sort of boring. I wasn’t trying to do anything fancy, just trying to keep an even pace while trying to not overexert myself and save enough for a possible kick at the end. It’s the same type of run I’ve done countless times. It was kind of boring.

But then I ran straight into a local youth running clinic typically held at the end of the summer. It’s a great program for children to learn more about the sport of running, proper exercise, stretching and nutrition from some of the area’s top runners. Unfortunately for me, I ran right by them as they started their group run. It didn’t take long before I was passed by one of the kids. Read More »

The 53rd Annual LVH-Muhlenberg Summer Festival Begins Wednesday

Muhlenberg Summer Festival kids on rideOn Wednesday, Aug. 13, the 53rd annual Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)-Muhlenberg Summer Festival will begin. For the third straight year, the festival will be held on the north side of the hospital campus near routes 22 and 378, in a location that allows for more space and additional parking.

One of the hospital’s largest fundraisers, the Summer Festival has raised millions of dollars during its 53-year history to support services at LVH-Muhlenberg. The very first festival was held even before ground was broken for what was to become the Muhlenberg Medical Center.

Each night of this year’s Summer Festival will include special activities for children in “Kiddie Land,” such as grab bags, face painting, sand art and a duck pond. Plenty of food, crafts and free entertainment are available for patrons of all ages to enjoy. Read More »

Puck-Nosed Pladottle Found in Downtown Allentown – VIDEO

There’s something strange in the neighborhood. In the basement of the historic Dime Bank, next door to the new LVHN-One City Center on Hamilton Street in Allentown, Pa., there was a locked vault that was presumed to be empty. LVHN-One City Center adjoins the new ice hockey arena that the Lehigh Valley Phantoms will call home. When Phantoms mascot Dax opened the vault, a living creature was discovered inside.

Authorities rushed to the scene to recover the creature and transported it to Lehigh Valley Health Network for treatment. The team at LVHN worked through the night to care for the creature that was stunned, confused and seemed to be in a state of amnesia. Doctors and nurses were able to restore the creature’s heath but were still unsure of its origin. They released the creature to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, who agreed to foster the kind-hearted creature and promptly sought out a specialist to help answer the question of his origin. Read More »

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