After the marathon I took 6 days off and when I say off I mean OFF. I did not run one step nor did I do any formal exercising of any stripe. I only ran on Sunday because it was so beautiful out and peanut and I were on our own for a couple of hours. We decided we couldn't pass up a run\ride through the neighborhood. The first run back is always a little crusty, but it wasn't too bad all things considered.
Then last week I ran 39 miles total. I didn't wear a watch at all the first few runs back, but then I was stuck on the treadmill one day and threw in 2.5 @ 7:00 pace just because I was bored and was curious how it would feel--not bad! Then on Saturday I met the girlfriends for our annual Halloween pancake run (run followed by breakfast!). I got there a little early and noticed DD and CV were finishing up their workout so I jogged up to meet them and I ended up warming up for the easy trail run with a 6:45, which didn't feel bad at all. But them WHAM! On Sunday I headed out on a gorgeous afternoon and slogged my way through 10 @ 7:50 pace, which felt like 10 @ 7:00! It wasn't pretty, but it's done.
This week I'm getting back into the swing of things, building my base back up. I have 55-60 miles with 2 workouts and 2 longer runs. The workouts are fairly cake, at least they would be pre-marathon. But, I'm expecting my tempo, which is 20 seconds per mile slower than pre-marathon tempos, to feel pretty much the same as a pre-marathon tempo. I am going to err on the side of lesser miles and even running my runs a little slower rather than forcing the pace if need be. I believe these few weeks after a marathon, even one that was jogged in more or less, are the weeks that can make or break your next season. If I don't fully recover I'm cruising for injury or burnout. I'd rather lay low through the end of the year than enter 2012 feeling like crusty crud.
So that, my friends, is my completely unglamorous post-marathon running life.