What do you do after the big race is over? Everyone has a different thing that works for them and I'd like to hear what works for you. Do you run again soon after? Sign up for the next race? Take a week off and do nothing??
After my race Sunday morning I ate salty and protein-rich foods, soaked in an ice bath with epsom salt, took a hot shower, stretched with the foam roller and slept for an hour. Later in the afternoon I went for a 20 minute walk. For once, I didn't have any injuries, blisters, or chafing to deal with. I was dehydrated though and drank as much as I could all day long.
Yesterday I ran for 20 minutes... very, very slowly... and on a treadmill. This was after I rode the spin bike for 40 minutes like a mad woman (hey, I had some steam to blow off) and stretched for 15 minutes on a foam roller. The slow, easy run felt very good. It actually felt too good and I wanted to increase the pace but forced myself to keep it slow. I could have run longer, too, but made myself stop after the 20 minutes.
Tomorrow I'm going to run again. I don't know how far or for how long yet. I'd like to do 5 miles but we'll see how things are feeling. I also have plans to meet up with my running group of friends for a 5 mile run Saturday morning. If I feel good, I may do more.
I know some people think that's crazy and that I should not run at all for a full week and then gradually ease back into it. But the short, easy run following a long run in training always worked for me. Maybe I didn't push myself hard enough during the race if I'm feeling this good just three days later?
What do you do after the big race is over??