Good luck Nells! Just go and give your best. Sounds like you're running well, so hopefully you can get that PB. Although I do think your best chance of beating the mighty Jimbob would be to handcuff him to the nearest lamppost. That lad's a bit quick!
Sounds like a good plan. You just need to keep your fitness ticking over until you ramp up the training again.
I've got my last proper race of the year this weekend, Great Scottish Run. I'll be glad to get that one done and dusted. I've been pretty full on with training all year. I need a bit of a break before getting into proper Paris training come December.
Emma16 - Welcome to the thread and well done at Loch Ness!
I don't follow a formal training plan, just one I've pieced together myself based on what seems to have worked for me over the years. If Loch Ness was your first you'll most likely find there's a big difference training for your second. You'll have built up a lot of stamina and while marathon training is never easy, you should find it doesn't wipe you out as much as your body adjusts to putting in regular long runs.
It's not uncommon to enter the taper period feeling shattered, mentally or physically. One tip is that if you are feeling the strain during the taper then there's no harm is skipping a run. You want to feel fresh at the start line. Taper period is a time when even the most seasoned marathon runners tend to think everything is broken and they're about to fall apart at any moment!
On the plus side Paris is an easier course than Loch Ness.
Sorry can't help with the heart rate stuff, as I've never actually tracked mine! I tend to be the opposite of what you state though, in that I tend to run much better at events than in training.
For post marathon form I find I can take a week or two off and it has no impact at all on me. I've also found I can get back out there pretty much right away, but when I've done that I've taken the runs the first couple of weeks very slowly and kept the mileage low.