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It was mid to late December, 2003 when a friend of mine came into my office at Bryant Middle School and asked if I would like to be on her team to do the Little Rock Marathon Relay. I laughed so hard and replied, “There is no way. I can’t walk in a marathon (26.2 miles). Are you crazy?” She then explained that the relay is split up into 4 legs of the race and I could pick my leg. After hearing that, I told her give me a day or two and I would think about it. Every day she would ask me about walking in the LR Marathon. Still thinking there was no way that I could do this, I agreed to participate. Now, we needed 2 more fools, and our team would be complete. She and I began trying to recruit someone else to be on our team. Within two weeks we had 4 teams and within 3 weeks we had 6 teams total. I started my walking in mid-January, 2004, getting ready for the Little Rock Marathon on March 7, 2004. After one-half mile I was huffing and puffing. I realized that for me to walk in the marathon I was going to have to get in some other shape besides “ROUND”. For one week I huffed and puffed one-half mile every day; then, I made myself increase to one mile per day. Eventually, I was walking 3 and 4 miles and up to 7 miles on two different Saturday morning walks. I knew nothing about what kind of shoes to wear or what kind of clothes to wear, how long it would take me to walk my leg of the race. For that matter I knew nothing about this marathon stuff. Thanks to Geneva Hampton and the other staff from the Little Rock Marathon, I have learned a lot. By the marathon date I was pumped and ready, so, I thought, to walk my leg of the race. I had picked the third leg of the relay, which was the longest, flattest, and windiest leg of the race. I was waiting patiently for my partner to cross the finish line and exchange the timing chip, but when she did cross the finish line I missed her. I was not even paying attention. Realizing that my relay partner had just crossed the finish line, I ran down to meet her, threw off my jacket, put on the timing chip and took off.

I was off and walking, but by the time I got to the 16th mile marker (only 3 miles later) I was already tired, thinking why am I this. Then some of those great marathoners started passing me heading back to the finish line, saying things like, “Come on Kathryn you can do it”, and "Yea Kathryn, you are doing great.” That sure helped pick my spirits up and I knew then I had to finish this 7.2 miles. When I passed through the exchange area at the 17-1 /2 mile marker and saw my friends and family there cheering me on that helped so much, because by then I was ready to quit. I knew though I had to continue. My daughter was waiting on me to come back and pass that timing chip off to her. The miles going and coming along the river were hard with the wind blowing. I had picked the third leg of the race because it was flat but I never thought about the wind being so strong.

When I crossed the finish line just past the 20 mile marker my daughter was so excited, yelling “Yea mom” and hugging me, but all I could think about was get the timing chip and go. When I finished I was in pain and thinking, “Why did I let my friend talk me into this.” I had blisters on my feet, raw places on my body from my clothes rubbing, and sore legs, not to mention I was a little disappointed that I felt this way since I had felt so great during all the training. When the wonderful volunteer hung the finishers medal around my neck, it made it worth all the pain. Our relay teams had a goal just to finish in 8 hours. Did we? Yes, all six teams finished in under 6 hours. By Tuesday I felt pretty good, my raw places still hurt but my legs and feet felt fine. I bandaged up the raw places and walked 2 miles. As I walked that night I thought about the wheelchair racers and how much they would have loved to walk my measly little 7.2 miles. I thought of how they went the whole 26.2 miles. I was very impressed with them. When they came through the relay station the crowd was cheering them on and to be honest it brought tears to my eyes. Those guys were amazing. I also thought about my brother who was involved in a hay baling accident 5 years ago that left him in a wheelchair. It was then that I set myself a goal. I am walking/running in the Houston Marathon and the Little Rock Marathon honoring my brother and the many others with spinal cord injuries. All the donations I receive will be sent to Craig Hospital in Englewood, CO to support spinal cord injury research and rehab.

I continued my daily walking, maybe 2 miles, maybe 10 miles but I was determined to continue my walking. For the past year I have been walking and walking and walking (2 to 10 miles per day). I have also been dieting. My diet had to be something that would work for me. No weighing food, no measuring food, no writing down food, no counting calories. It is hard to find a diet like that, so I designed my own. I cut down on my eating and logged my water intake and my walking. When I started I called it my “3W Diet” (Willpower, Walk, drink Water). It has worked but my “3Ws” are different now. I get many laughs when I tell people my diet is the “3W diet”. It is now “Walk, Water and Weewee”. I have lost a total of 96.5 pounds, walked over 2000 miles, and drank over 250 gallons of water. How do I feel??? “GREAT” With 30 more pounds to go I hope to reach my weight loss goal by March 2006. I have participated in three 5K walk/runs October 9 is Breast Cancer 5K Race for the Cure, October 23 is Raid the Rock 5K Mud Run, and December 4 is the Jingle Bell 5K - I participated in a Armaco Half (13.1 miles) Marathon in Houston, Texas January 16, 2005 and the Little Rock Marathon (26.2 miles) on March 6, 2005. January 16, 2005, my husband and I flew to Texas for the 33rd Annual Houston Marathon (, and on March 6, 2005 I completed my first full marathon. I met my goal, I finished my first 26.2 mile marathon and was proudly wearing one of the world's largest finisher's medals.

Read More Of This Story And View Before And After Photos.

I enjoy sharing my story - It has been a lot of hard work - My only wish is that I had done this when I was younger instead of waiting until I am almost 50 - Back in March 2005 my story was featured in the first edition of WALK Magazine that is published out of Columbus, Ohio - I was very excited about that -

Thanks for adding it to your web site -

Kathryn Wishard






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