In which I become a blabbering idiot full of thanks.

I DID IT. Wait. YOU did it. We did it! As of, like, 11 minutes ago, I reached my $2,900 fundraising goal for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I can't even believe it. Just over three weeks ago I still needed almost $1,400. Solely through the power of this blog and Twitter I raised almost $3,000 to help fight blood cancers. THAT IS AWESOME.

You never really realize the power of social media until a time like this. Criticize blogging and Twitter and social media all you want, but don't tell me it doesn't have its benefits. People I've never met in my life came forward and donated to the cause. That is worth all the praise out there. So thank you to every single person who's helped me throughout the last four months. I am patting all of you on the back.

The Internets is an amazing place.

In other awesome-sauce news, I broke me personal half marathon goal yesterday. When I began running half marathons in 2007, all I wanted was to break 2 hours. Seemed like a reasonable goal. And I did that, first try. Ran a 1:53. Now fast-forward through 10 more half marathons in the last 3 years. My finish times wavered, some over 2 hours, some below 1:50, but the magical number became 1:45. I only seriously started gunning for that in recent races, but could never quite get there. The closest I ever got - in April 2008 - was a 1:48:50. And those last 3 minutes were a bitch.

Which brings us to yesterday. I scooted my ass across the finish line in 1:44: 58.

OMG!

I had to hold a solid 8-minute per mile pace for 13.1 miles. And I don't know if you know this, but damn. That's tough. But yesterday just happened. I felt great. I had some amazing friends with me. My parents were there. It was, like, the perfect storm of awesomeness.

Every run, every speed workout, every ounce of sweat and sore hip and tender shin got me there yesterday, and I'm so damn happy about it. And that leaves one more mission this year: a sub-4-hour marathon. I have wanted to break four hours in the marathon for too long. And we all remember October's failed mission. Not so much a failure, because I learned, but a heartbreak, for sure.

I have confidence now. Not just from yesterday's result, but from the weeks of training I've had this time around. I've seen myself improve. I feel stronger. I feel better. I feel ready.

So San Diego is it. I'm going to San Diego because YOU guys helped me raise $2,900. I raised that money to fight dirty, vicious blood cancers. And I'm running that marathon with a mission.

Fingers crossed. June 6.

And thank you, from the bottom of my heart.