Our monthly newsletter, Link Newsletter, is full of tips, reminders, and timely advice to help you stay well informed when it comes to your business and personal finances. If you have questions about any of the articles, feel free to email Damon Yudichak at Damon@yudichakcpa.com.
Focused Information for the Small Business Owner
Volume 4, Issue 7
Pictured at the end of his first marathon.
In This Issue
Last year, on October 9, 2010, I began my journey to run my first Marathon. That Thursday morning I met Jerry Kephart at 6:00 am at the Bedford Clubhouse and we ran two miles around the neighborhood.
A year later on October 30, 2011, at 7:00 am, just before dawn, I stood at Arlington Cemetery overlooking the Potomac River ready to run my first ever marathon. The Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial were brightly lit. Marines were all around making sure that everything was operating smoothly. It was 36 degrees and I decided I would run in just my singlet and running shorts. A number of the other runners were bundled up in snow suits and they looked at me like I was crazy. I smirked proudly back with a nod, thinking yes I am crazy to be wearing just a tank top and shorts.
At 8:00 am the Howitzer blasted and the race had begun. I was glad because I wanted to start warming up. Within half a mile I had warmed up and I was feeling good. Just then the thought came to me, “I’m running a marathon.” It was a little bit surreal to think that now I was running a marathon. Everyone had warned me to take it easy and not start off too fast. I did a timed mile earlier this year in 5 minutes and 48 seconds. Given my mile time a number of calculators predicted I could run the race in 3 hours and 20 minutes. I wanted to be more conservative and so my initial target was 3 hours and 30 minutes. This would mean I would need to average 8 minutes per mile. I had determined ahead of time that my first couple miles would be at least 30 seconds slower than the goal pace of 8 minutes per mile. That would be my way of not starting off too fast.
I was really looking forward to Mile 4 at the Key Bridge because that is where my wife and children were going to be cheering me on. I got to the other side of the bridge and wasn’t able to see my family. Even though I would have loved to see them, I realized it was too cold for my two girls. My job of running the marathon was easier than my wife’s job of trying to motivate two girls to stand outside in the freezing cold.
Georgetown was one of my favorite places on the course. It was full of quaint shops. The Lincoln Memorial was at the 10.5 mile mark and I noticed a MarathonFoto cameraman so I made sure to put on a big smile so it could be recorded that I was having a wonderful time.
I crossed the half marathon point at 1 hour and 55 minutes, so I knew the best I could hope for was probably a four hour marathon. My lower right hamstring was starting to get sore, so my reward for finishing the half marathon was a two minute walk break.
When I started running again, “The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga was blaring which I was thrilled about. That song came at a wonderful time. My friends Matt and Bob caught up with me and we ran together for half a mile until I took my next walk break.
Everything was going well except the soreness in my hamstring. Throughout the race I was taking 20 second walk breaks at each mile mark and at each water stop. At the 15 mile mark hamstring pain was no fun and I knew I would need to take longer and more frequent walk breaks.
At the 16.5 mile point I had to take my first of two bathroom breaks. At mile 18 I started my walk break and another runner started walking with me. He was very nice and asked me how I enjoyed the walking.
Mile 20 was the beginning of the George Mason Memorial Bridge. I think I walked across the entire bridge. The bridge seemed to go on and on forever and I wondered when the bridge would ever come to an end. I actually enjoyed the bridge. It was impressive to see so many people running at once. My hamstring was sore and I just kept focusing on moving forward. As I was coming to the end of the bridge another runner passed in bare feet. I shook my head and thought I can’t believe anyone would run a marathon without shoes. At the end of the bridge I took my second bathroom break.
At mile 25, my friend Derek Bateson passed me and I made the decision to catch up and finish with him. I patted Derek on his shoulder to which he replied, “What are you doing here?” I had told him my time goal was 3:30. I was the last person he expected to see at the end of the race. I was glad to see Derek because for the whole race I had run alone. I kept looking at my watch to see how much distance was left. Derek blurted out “Quit looking at your watch and just look forward.” It was good advice and I focused forward. About half a mile later I recognized the scenery and realized we just passed the marathon start line where our day had begun four and a half hours earlier. We passed the 26 mile mark and I could see the big red arch that was the finish line. But first we had to climb this grueling hill. I had a little kick in me and started to speed ahead.
Finally, the marathon was over. I saw Derek again and congratulated him on finishing. There were a lot of finishers there and we moved slowly forward through gates to be awarded our finisher’s medal by a Marine Lieutenant.
I started to cry. I could not believe how much pain my legs were in. Never in my life had I felt such intense pain all throughout my legs. All I could think was, “Oww! My legs hurt.”
I kept moving forward and got my finisher’s medal and then on to a photo in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial. I linked up with my family and it was wonderful to see them. We packed our bags and headed home. The whole drive home I talked about what went well and what didn’t go so well.
Having talked with a lot of people who had run marathons, I had certain expectations about what a great experience this marathon would be. I chuckle now at the thought of a marathon being an enjoyable experience. Because I served in the Army, I saw it as only fitting that the Marine Corp Marathon would be my first Marathon. I had this romantic notion that as soon as I finished the marathon I would have a huge euphoric feeling at my great accomplishment. People seemed to glow when they talked about the marathons they had run. Some people remarked that once you run a marathon your life changes. Such was not the case with me. At the finish the only words I had to explain the Marine Corps Marathon were, “That was a painful experience.”
Over the last year in preparation for the marathon, I ran 908.2 miles. It took me 149 hours 50 minutes and 2 seconds to run those miles. I ran four half marathons. At the beginning of my training, I weighed 184 pounds and now I weigh 169 pounds.
I’m really glad I ran the marathon. No running for me in November. I’ve got to let my hamstring heal up.
My next marathon is in 11 weeks.
I’ve had a couple people ask, What’s with you and the moon? About two years ago, I became fascinated with the Apollo Program. I began to study the program and interview people who helped make the monumental task of landing on the moon a reality.
The moon is a symbol of possibility for me. It is a source of inspiration. I like to be inspired.
My name is Damon Yudichak and I am a Certified Public Accountant. My father was an Army officer and we moved around a lot. We finally ended up in Fayetteville, NC. I’ve been a resident of Raleigh since 1999 when I moved here to go to North Carolina State University. I am fascinated with the moon and am still amazed that man has walked on the moon. I also am a big standup comedy fan.
The Orange Star Newsletter is prepared by Damon Yudichak. The Orange Star Newsletter carries no official authority, and its contents should not be acted upon without professional advice.
In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.