On Monday morning, the intoxication of a pulsating performance from Waterford hurlers was giving way to symptoms of long-sufferance and dread.
Liam Cahill had just six days to oversee the repair of ransacked bodies and begin lighting new fires inside grieving minds. And make no mistake, Waterford were grieving. They'd gone to Thurles believing themselves ready to dethrone Limerick when just about everybody outside their bubble considered the idea an innocent conceit.
But losing heroically is still losing.
Cahill had to pull many of his players back onto their feet to pay due respect to a trophy presentation that passed without fanfare or a captain's speech. For most, it looked physically painful just to comply.
Interviewed on WLR the following morning, Shane Aherne expressed a concern that six days might be too short a gap to get ready for Clare now. Specifically, for opponents granted 24 hours' more recovery - and that after less elemental business of their own in Portlaoise.
But, as the week passed, that anxiety began to soften.
A selector to Gerald McCarthy in '98, when Waterford recovered from a bruising Munster final replay defeat against Clare to devour Galway seven days later, Aherne was coming around to the view that Cahill and his men might now be capable of tuning to a similar frequency. "I'm not one for moral victories and I don't think Liam Cahill or his players are either," he reflected. "But that was a great effort last Sunday and it feels like we've come a long way because the last two years have been horrendous.
"Like I don't think that extra day's recovery would make a difference if we were talking about a two-week gap, but I do believe there's a difference between six days and seven.
"I played in a good few Munster Championship matches and you'd be sore for a couple of days after. And we didn't play those games in November, which is harder again. But then our recovery would have been an awful lot less scientific.
"So the more I think about this now, the more I feel it's as much about attitude as anything. What you saw in the players at the end last Sunday was disappointment as much as physical. When you're from Waterford, you can't be sure when the next Munster final is going to come around. And I'd say the players genuinely felt there could have been a smash-and-grab on. Which is nearly what happened."
Anecdotally, it is broadly to football that we turn for evidence of the six-day turnaround curse on beaten provincial finalists.
Only three of 19 teams managed to defy it when the calendar pitched them into round four All-Ireland qualifiers, some falling so heavily they seemed weighed down by something more pressing than plain fatigue.
Maybe most famously, Mick O'Dwyer expressed regret that Laois did not refuse to play their qualifier against Tyrone six days after losing the '04 Leinster final replay against Westmeath.
Suggesting that such a refusal would have reflected the only "really genuine and honest" response to the six-day turnaround, he wasn't surprised by their 2-4 to 3-15 defeat to the then reigning All-Ireland champions.
"I could do nothing with those boys all week," complained O'Dwyer. "Every single one of them was with physios and masseurs and doctors. I couldn't even take them for a run, we could only go for a swim."
When Sligo shipped a 3-20 to 0-10 hiding from Down six days after losing the 2010 Connacht final to Roscommon by a point, their manager - Kevin Walsh - suggested that the turnaround time had been simply asking "too much" of teams.
Distaste for the six-day turnaround had almost become a self-fulfilling prophesy before the calendar was reset in 2013.
Professor Niall Moyna believes that that distaste created the illusion of it being an unworkable time-frame.
"The record of football teams in the qualifiers I think was an awful lot more psychological than physiological," he remarked this week.
"You set yourself up for this big game (provincial final) and end up going home, feeling s**t. It's Thursday before you get it out of your system.
"But the six-day turnaround is not the issue. There's no problem recovering from the previous game. I think too much was made of it because there were so many other issues related to those poor performances that weren't physical."
Moyna believes that a more pressing worry for teams in this championship will, potentially, prove to be the cumulative build-up of games, week-in, week-out, for those compelled to go the back-door route.
The provincial round-robin system of recent years showed a high statistic of teams flat-spotting when compelled to play a third week in succession, as Clare will be doing today.
"Even if you have a great training history behind you, that's when fatigue really kicks in," suggests Moyna. "It's the psychological side of being up and down, up and down. It starts to take a toll.
"Even if you're playing for Manchester United, you just cannot sustain it week-in, week-out. You'll see professional teams resting players because there's only so many times you can go to the same well with the same intensity.
"And remember, we're talking about amateur players. They don't get anything near the recovery that professional rugby and soccer players get. A lot of them have full-time jobs."
For all that, this - clearly - is an outlier of a season. One in which conventional planning has been impossible given the drastically truncated calendar.
Moyna suspects that the perfect scenario for any of the four hurling teams in quarter-final action today is that they arrive at this juncture having started "maybe 20-30 per cent behind the others" in terms of physical loading. "In other words, they've just got through these early games and are gradually getting match-sharp," he says.
"This is particularly valid in hurling, where your eye and touch are all so important. And, remember, there's no textbook for this season. Everyone's had to make it up as they go along."
The bookies regard today's Páirc Uí Chaoimh opponents as distant outsiders in the race for Liam MacCarthy, with Limerick, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Galway all priced ahead of them in the market.
For both Waterford and Clare managements, a semi-final spot would - clearly - be regarded as bonus territory then. Cahill, after all, inherited a team that hadn't won a championship game since the 2017 All-Ireland semi-final, while Brian Lohan went into this championship denied access to four All-Stars.
Aherne believes that their Munster semi-final victory over Cork removed "a big monkey" off the backs of the Waterford players. And that the performance against Limerick proved it.
"I was talking to (selector) Stephen Frampton after the Cork game and he told me they hadn't fully realised the pressure the lads felt under after the last two years," he reflected.
"There was a sense of them hurling in a straitjacket nearly and they needed to start expressing themselves again. We saw them do that against Limerick. Like I thought Clare didn't lay a glove on Limerick when they played them. The amount of times Limerick players got scores with their two feet planted on the ground was unbelievable. And that's a bad sign. It means the scorer is under no pressure.
"Waterford would have seen that and tried to bring what Kilkenny brought to the All-Ireland semi-final last year. Or at least an element of it.
"A worry now would be that we've a bad record against Clare, but I think Páirc Uí Chaoimh is good for us. Put it this way, if this game was in Limerick, I think Waterford people would just give up. That place is an awful graveyard for us, but there'll be genuine optimism going to Cork."
Six days on, the pulse back beating strong again.