My typical marathon recovery is simple- wait out the leg soreness until I can gradually resume jogging. That usually takes until Wednesday or Thursday after a weekend race, with the first couple of runs not much faster than walking. It takes another week for my legs to feel normal, and I usually feel very good after about 2 weeks, fogetting about the real long runs and intense intervals. Just easy miles.
This was my 6th and final marathon of 2008; and the first one of the year that I actually focused on. More long runs, and more tempo runs. I ran my best time of the year, but for some reason leg soreness was more severe after this one than any of the others, when I had far fewer long runs behind me. Not sure that I have the answer. Maybe lack of hill training.
Another unusual problem is now I have a cold. I know the immune system is suppressed following a hard long race, but I do not recall ever getting sick like this right away after a marathon. Related to the soreness?
I hate being sick, but the good news is that I have nothing pressing on the race calendar that I need to worry about. I am even looking forward to some extra days off.
Finally, every running expert under the sun recommends electrolyte replacement drink and high carbohydrate foods immediately following the race. Baloney. I've run close to 50 marathons, and I have to admit to having NEVER followed that advice. By this time I am tired of carbohydrates, and my post-race routine is ALWAYS to find a bar (likely place to pick up a cold virus), have a couple of beers, and eat whatever I crave. Later, the evening meal on race day is ALWAYS STEAK washed down with more beer! Carbohydrate foods are the last thing on my mind.
Let's face it, I'm in no hurry to restock carbohydrates and get back on the roads in the hours after a marathon. Reward for hard work is in order.