A week and a few days out from running the marathon, I'm feeling pretty much like my old self (sans heavy training that is). I was careful this time around to take it extremely easy in the hours following the marathon, as well as the days following. I did not rock an ice bath after running, a spray of cold in the shower was all I could take.
The pain has faded gradually, and I have managed a few easy runs in the past week. My body feels relatively good, I detect no signs of injury though my body is definitely in a weakened state. The biggest side effect running the marathon seems to be a sudden spike in my nervous energy. I am so used to running regularly that the sudden lack of activity has left a void. I am starting to fill it with biking, swimming, and on the home front baking and organizing. Using this recovery time to round things out.
Mentally I am evening out as well. The day after I hit a tremendous low, which also happened to me after the Atlanta marathon. I thought, the first time it happened, that it was due to the stress of traveling, not getting proper rest, but it happened the same way at home, in bed, with a significant difference in stress level. It leads me to believe that it comes from a chemical / hormonal place, which makes sense considering what builds up in the course of a marathon. I felt tremendously broken down and weepy, a sharp emotional weakness. The worst passed in a few hours but it took me, and is taking me a while to get my equilibrium back, as much as I feel good and successful, I have lost the routine and endorphins of training. I remind myself that this is as much a part of the process as all those miles I logged, and sometimes slowing down and takings easy can be as hard as putting forth my full physical effort.
I am using this time to rest, review, round out, and plan for what's next, taking the time to savor my accomplishment.