At 6 a.m. today I started my first run of the Dallas Running Club's 17-week fall half-marathon training program. I'm in a run/walk group which means we get brief, heavenly, walk breaks.
It's really hard to get up early on a Saturday and run in 90-degree humid weather, but it's also fun to run with a group and you feel incredible when you're done. This will be my second year of the DRC's excellent program, which prepared me for something I never imagined I could do: run a half marathon at the BMW Dallas Marathon (it took me three hours but I did it.)
I have gone through periods when I've exercised regularly and others when I haven't. I know that when I exercise, I feel better mentally and physically. And more and more, I think about the importance of exercising to reduce my high cancer risk.
There is plenty of peer-reviewed research about how physical activity can lower our risk for breast cancer and other types of cancer. I don't think we hear nearly enough about it though. The National Cancer Institute offers a wealth of info on the subject.
As someone at high risk for several cancers due to a BRCA2 mutation, I am trying to do everything I can to stay healthy and outrun the disease. Even if it means getting up at 5 a.m. for the next 16 Saturdays. Not that I am counting.