It's always the first run after a race that really gets you. My run happened yesterday. I was still sore from the race, but I felt like I needed to get a run down to get the lactic acid out of my system. If you let it stay, it won't go. If you work on it, it'll break up and get out. I ran 4.05 miles in 35:40, an average of 8:49 min/mile. Not fast, but it was nice enough after a long race.
Time's running out now because my next race is coming up in less than a month. Now if I were to not train at all and just go with how I feel, it wouldn't be good because I would listen to how sore my muscles were and not run for a week. Getting it out of my system was very vital and is hard to do. After a day of rest, I'm planning on restarting my training and jumping right on it for the next race. I know that I can run a marathon with ease whenever I want to, but I need to step it up and be able to run 50k trail races at any time. Having a harsh race schedule will get me to that point, and hopefully, I'll be able to get to being able to run longer distance races a little easier.
The first run after your race needs to be handled with care. A little too much and you'll end up overstraining yourself. Doing too little won't get you enough to go forward. I need to start right and then push forward. I need to make sure that the race was a step and not 'the end' because once you 'end' something. That means that you have to restart and the whole restart process takes a little more time.
Whenever you're finished with whatever goal you had, the hardest thing to do is to take the next step towards your next goal. You want to revel in your accomplishments and to just take a break. However, in doing that, we hurt ourselves even more. Take the rights steps after your goal and then go even further with whatever your goals are.