Well that was fun while it lasted. My post-marathon metabolism has officially taken over. And you know what that means... gone is my ability to fight off the inevitable weight gain post race ;(
I'm actually surprised I managed to go a whole 5 weeks without things slowing down faster. Typically, my body works in a 2 week cycle, where any changes in diet, nutrition, body comp, fitness, etc. take about 2 weeks to take hold. The majority of my post marathon training has been light effort, but frequent, ranging from some cycling, focused core workouts, and light running. Not exactly burning tons of calories per day, but not sitting on the couch either. And my diet? Well, I wouldn't say it fell off the deep end, but I did give up some slack where I had been holding off. I am still eating much of the same foods I had been eating, it is just that with burning fewer calories, weight gain is inevitable. I'm sure the weight gain will level off soon though, because post-race recovery is officially over...which means it will hopefully show within the next 2 weeks...or else I'm going to turn into an oopma loompa.
The bottom line is this: it is unhealthy to stay a race weight year round, so some weight gain is healthy. Like fitness, you have to let it slide a little each year, so you can build back up even stronger. You also want your race weight to give you an edge, knowing that you are lighter than you trained at, which means free speed. So starting at a slightly higher weight and ending at a lower weight helps add fuel to a positive attitude as race day approaches.
Unfortunately, weight gain post race has the opposite effect of race weight - it makes you feel like a.sloth. Here's hoping that trend turns around soon!