I think I have figured out part of the reason why it took me so long to recover from the Rock N Roll Providence Half Marathon. I didn't move around enough immediately after the race. This is partly due to Rock N Roll's organization of the post-race runner refreshment area. I like to walk around, eat a banana, make sure I feel OK, decide what else I need to eat and drink, and then walk more and eat and drink the rest of my post-race goodies. But you can't do that at Rock N Roll races because the finish area isn't that big. You pretty much come to a stop at the finish line. If it gets crowded, Rock N Roll forces you to move back or move out. Once you leave, you can't come back in. Hmmm.
I was very sore after the Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Marathon and chalked most of that up to running my first marathon. But maybe some of the issue was the Rock N Roll finish area. Too small to be able to decently keep moving.
I did sit on a plane the day after Rock N Roll Mardi Gras and in a car the afternoon of Rock N Roll Providence, which I'm sure did not help in either case. Hmmm again.
Compare to the Chicago Marathon, where I felt pretty OK from the afternoon of the race onward. At Chicago, you have to walk a long way to get out of the finish area. Easily a quarter mile if not longer. And then the post-race party is another quarter mile or more away. At least Chicago hands you a bag of snacks at the finish line, and I knew the Bank of America customer area (which I had access to ... very nice because it was quieter and less crowded than everywhere else) had food and drinks. So I didn't worry about getting my post-race refreshments in the finish area and then went to the BoA area. I hung around the BoA area til I felt ready to leave and walked a mile back to my hotel. And walked later in the day. And walked several miles the next day. All that walking made a huge difference.
Being a runner is like constantly running (pun intended) an experiment of one. You try something and it doesn't work. So you try something different and it does work. Or not. Eventually you figure out what works for you. Even though I do not know exactly why, I do know one thing. Walking after a marathon = good. Oh so very good.