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<p><strong>Short version:</strong></p>
<p><strong>Chip time:</strong> 1:42:15 new PR</p>
<p><strong>Clock time:</strong> 1:43:30</p>
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<p><strong>Long version:</strong></p>
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<p><strong>Intro:</strong>  Last March, DW participated in a mission trip to Nigeria with the <a href="http://israelidonije.org/africa/" target="_blank" title="Israel Idonije Foundation"><span style="color:#990099;">Israel Idonije Foundation</span></a>. Israel Idonije is a defensive player in the NFL for the Chicago Bears. This last Sunday, the <a href="http://israelidonije.org/" target="_blank" title="IIF"><span style="color:#990099;">IIF</span></a> had an appreciation dinner for team members and sponsors along with tickets for the season opening Chicago Bears game. Initially DW was not planning on attending, but a little over a week ago, she changed her mind. Out of habit, I checked the local (Chicago) running calendar and saw that the Chicago Half was that weekend. My marathon training plan had a 15 mile LR with 12 at MP scheduled for that date, so <em>why not</em>.</p>
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<p><strong>Pre-race:</strong> Arrived in Chicago at noon on Saturday. Checked into hotel and decided to walk to the exhibition/packet pick-up (2.5 miles up, 2.5 miles back). Just hung out at the hotel for the rest of the day.</p>
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<p><strong>Race morning:</strong> Up a few minutes before the alarm went off at 4:30AM, dressed, snack with Gator-aid, and out the door for the half-mile walk to the shuttle pick-up site by 5:00AM. When I got on the shuttle, I realized I had left my Garmin at the hotel. First race in a long time without it. I really don't use it during the race, just like to record my splits. Shuttle arrived at race start about 5:45AM, then it was just wait for the start at 7:00AM. Race weather was perfect. Clear skies, very light SW breeze and 60 degrees</p>
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<p><strong>Race start:</strong> Lined up at the1:45 pace sign. Plan for the race was to take it easy with an ~8:00/mile pace. Race start was a bit crowded, but with >18000 registered, it went off pretty well.</p>
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<p><strong>The Race:</strong> A bit crowded at the start, but pretty much everyone had placed themselves appropriately, so not much weaving and dodging. It took about a minute to cross the start line.At the Mile 1 marker, the urge to stop at the porta-loo hit me. At Mile 2 water station, I <span style="text-decoration:underline;">had</span> to stop (tmi, sorry Ribs). When I came out, decided to <em>race</em> instead of doing the MP run. I found a nice comfortable pace that I thought I could maintain for the rest of the race and was off.  The race ran up Lakeshore Drive to 31st before heading back south to finish in Jackson Park. I really felt good the entire way and was able to maintain the steady pace. As I came around the corner for the finish I saw the clock with 1:43:10 on it. My PR was 1:43:49, so I tried to give an extra boost to beat that time on the clock (forgetting it had taken a minute to cross the start line). I crossed the line with a clock time of <strong>1:43:30</strong>. Got my medal,some fluids & food and made my way to the shuttle for the ride back to the hotel.</p>
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<p><strong>Post race:</strong> I arrived back at the hotel at 10:00AM, quick shower, then off to meet the group to walk to the game. Spent the afternoon, at the game. Beer, hotdogs, & football; doesn't get much better. After the game, walked to the hotel (quick change), then on to the restaurant. Great Italian food and met some great people from the CARE team including Israel. By 9:00PM, I was crashing, so after the walk back to the hotel, I had no trouble sleeping. Up at 6:00AM for the trip back to OKC.  very full 3 day weekend.</p>
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<p>Thanks for reading.</p>
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<p>Paul</p>
 

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<p>Hard to say whether that porta-loo break was the cause of such a great finish time or whether it kept you from an even faster time!  I would love to do that race sometime, as I lived there for a couple of years in the 80's.</p>
 
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