Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The race I wasn't meant to run afterall

It's been 5 days and slowly my small family is getting back into our new routine. I still look back at last week and shake my head in disbelief that so many things could go wrong at one time but the fact remains that they did and now we're moving on.

For the first time ever I had a whole week of vacation leading up to a big race. Then a quick visit to the dentist to check out an odd white spot in my daughter's mouth sidelined our travel plans for a few days so the new found "shark" tooth could be moved into its correct position. We all tried to make the best of it; we hung out around the house, went to the beach and took our time packing for our big camping trip on my husband's family camping spot in Cape Breton. I did one last training run with our dog Spencer and finally on Thursday morning we were ready to go.

The trip up was great, it even seemed faster than usual (for once). We arrived at the camping spot and setup our trailer then played a game of soccer-my daughter and I against my husband and our dog (girls vs boys). We had a great time, running and playing and enjoying a truly ideal day. If I only knew what was to come.

The next day (the day before the Lou52 race) we all got up and watched my SIL take the latest litter of pups to their new owner and tried to cheer up my niece and nephew. My FIL suggested we check out the race course which would help get the kids minds off of missing the puppies and help out my support crew coordinate for the next day. Each of the families had their own dogs on the camping spot so each dog was put into their owner's trailer. Doors shut, we headed out on what turned out to be a 4 hour tour. I was surprised it took so long but as we drove back I felt that we all had a really good handle on where and when to meet up with each other the next day. I was planning what I should do when we got back to the trailer to prepare when I saw a blond figure lying on the ground by the driveway leading to the camping spot. As we got closer I saw it was my family's dog and knowing our dog (and that he would NEVER just be lying on the driveway like that) I knew the worst had happened while we were out. He somehow got the latch open on the door and had been killed on the highway below. My husband and his father took care of the body while I tried to comfort our daughter inside our trailer as we both sat in shock and disbelief. The skies had opened up at that point and it was raining hard, almost as hard as we wept.

A few hours later my husband asked about the race. I told him I didn't know what to do. But as the hours passed I knew my heart wasn't in it anymore. I felt incredibly guilty for leaving Spencer, for not taking him with us on the route scout and for putting us all in this place and position in the first place. It was a horrible accident. The next morning I laid in bed with an hour to go before we were to head out to the race. Spencer usually slept with me on these camping trips and I missed my little snuggle buddy and my running partner.Tears streamed down my face and I knew my heart wasn't ready for this, that when things got tough out on the course I just wouldn't have the reserves to keep going. I crawled into the bunk with my husband and told him I just wanted to go home. He said he did too. So, just like that the decision was made and we packed up, said goodbye to my husband's family and headed home. The vacation was officially over.

I haven't had it in me to run just yet. As we arrived home I saw all the spots that Spencer would love to stop/run at when we were our on our training runs. The bush of flowers he always insisted on running underneath, the big bunches of grass and hay at the village corner he would crash into as we passed, it is still all a bit much. I unpacked and did what seemed like 100 loads of laundry, then saw my race pack from the Lou52 and tucked it away. I still feel guilty that it was the race that led us to make the choices that led to the accident. Maybe in a few weeks I can open it and enjoy some of the really nice kit perks that were included. But not now. As much of a pain as he could be on our runs Spencer was still my buddy, my companion, my friend. RIP Spencer. I miss you little buddy.

RIP Spencer (2012-2013)

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