I can feel the rumbling. Deep and guttural. The Dragon is stirring. He is shifting in the darkness, stretching his claws. I have quite literally tried to outrun him, but I know he will catch up to me. This whole time I have been running, I have known this. I have felt his hot breath on my neck. My old scars have ached with remembering. And the truth is, I can't escape this.
I feel weak and powerless. I feel like no matter how hard I try, February will still devour me. Chew me up and spit me out - again.
And the anticipation of what's to come makes me want to hide beneath my blankets until March.
The reliving has begun. The happy memories of pregnancy are tainted with what I know what is to come. The jokes I made about heartburn. My attempt at painting my own toenails. My baby shower. My maternity photo session. All counting down to my own personal D-Day. It all feels so pointless. Not all the time - just these memories - just these months. Everything good that happened from now until February 25th feels like blood money. I paid the ultimate price for those memories and I don't know if they will never not be tainted.
Today, I am tired. I am wondering if I will be successful in my attempts to fight the Dragon that I know is coming for me. I've been polishing my armor and sharpening my sword. I've been keeping my eyes on the prize, visualizing my victory. But, as I begin to hear him start to wake, I am terrified it won't be enough. Already, my armor feels impossibly heavy - my sword awkward and unwieldy. These last few months have been nothing but preparing for right now, and I am scared he will still overtake me. Actually, I know he will.
He will rise from his cave and swoop over me like a thunderstorm. He will sink his claws into my back, his jaws into my neck. He will rip into me as I run.
These next six weeks will be the hardest six weeks of this journey because I have to continue to work just as hard as I have been, but I will have to do it while being shredded by the Dragon. I will have to drag myself, limping and bleeding, through the rest of my training and across that finish line.
Tomorrow, I run eleven miles. And as I run, I will turn my music up to drown out his growls. He's coming for me, but I won't go down without a fight.