It is 53 weeks since Spence suffered her most tortured competition. She went into London 2012 as world champion, believing the last gold medal of the Games was within her grasp.
Four years earlier, she missed selection for Beijing in spite of achieving the qualifying standard, prompting her to wonder about embarking on another Olympic cycle.
Winning the world title in Rome in March last year had fully vindicated her decision to continue in the sport. By early afternoon on August 12 last year, Spence was in contention for that elusive Olympic medal with only the show-jumping and the final run/shoot events to come.
Then came Coronado's Son. Modern Pentathletes only learn which horse they have been allocated shortly before the riding discipline at Greenwich Park and, on a particularly feisty mount, the penalty points accumulated and Spence's medal hopes evaporated.
She eventually placed 21st (Great Britain team-mate Samantha Murray won silver), feeling guilty she had let family and friends down.
It prompted a long period of self-examination, with five months away from the sport, two-and-a-half of those on a back-packing trip around Australia.
Spence, from Farr, near Inverness, conceded in a candid BBC interview earlier this year that the Olympics had "destroyed part of me". Rebuilding her would be delicate work.
Those she worked with closely at her training base at the University of Bath must have doubted if she would return. But world champions are made of strong stuff. If anything, she needed to prove to herself that she could handle this most wounding experience.
Hardly back in full training, she placed 33rd at the World Cup in Rio early this year, but it laid the foundations for her mental rehabilitation.
She was back on the podium weeks later, taking bronze at the World Cup in Budapest and proving to herself she remained a world-class performer.
This week she has the chance to exorcise that wretched experience in London when she defends her world title in Taiwan, and it is clear she has locked last August into a far distant corner of her mind: there is nothing to be gained from raking over the minutiae of that day. "It was obviously a tough time," she admits, "To have gone to the Olympics as the reigning world champion, I had high expectations of myself and it didn't go according to plan.
"It was hard to come to terms with it, but I have come to terms with it now and I'm at peace with what happened. In sport, it's the highs and lows of the game that we play and I go into every competition knowing that.
"It is what it is and I've moved on and am focused on what's next to come."
She added: "I'd never bow out after a bad performance as that would make me look like a bad loser.
"I just went off with my friend to Australia and forgot about things and just had some fun. Over time, I have put the Olympics behind me.
"I competed in Rio when I wasn't in peak condition, but it was just good to go out and compete again.
"Winning the medal in Hungary fuelled the fire some more. I'm enjoying pentathlon and I'm enjoying training and that makes it a lot easier."
Along with fellow Scot Freyja Prentice, fourth at the recent European Championships in Poland, Spence has been preparing to defend her title with altitude training in the French Pyrenees with the rest of the Great Britain team.
As defending champion, Spence will be one of the athletes to watch, but the competition is wide open and there are no guarantees even for the likes of the Lithuanian Olympic champion Laura Asadauskaite.
"I'd like to think at most competitions I'm one of the athletes to watch and I know people will be watching to see what I can do," Spence continues. "As always, I put pressure on myself to be the best that I can be and as long as I've done my best on the day then I have to be happy with any result I get.
"The competition is going to come from the Ukrainians and the Lithuanian Olympic champion as well as my GB team-mates. I don't need to look too far to see athletes who are threatening my position as world champion. I used to struggle with the pressure but now it really spurs me on. It helps me train harder and push myself to a higher limit."
Given her Olympic experiences, it is no surprise that she is unwilling to predict if she will be around or not at the next Games in Rio in 2016.
"It is a long way off and, at the moment, I wouldn't say yea or nay.
"I'm focused on the World Championships and seeing how they go.
"I'm not getting any younger, but I'd really like to try and make it to another Games and I just have to see year-in, year out how it's all going to pan out."