"Oh, no. I'm going," I replied.
"Thank GOD! I can't do this race without you!" he exclaimed.
He's right. Well, sort of. Technically, he could do it without me, but it would be much, much harder. For one thing, after he raced 140.6 miles, he'd have to retrieve his bike and all his heavy transition bags and hike them to the hotel all by himself.
This chore is apparently so hard in the utter state of exhaustion at the end of a race that racers are seriously tempted to leave all the gear behind...including the $6,000 bicycle.
"After all," the devastatingly exhausted racer tells himself or herself, "I'm never, ever doing this race again."
I've heard these words, spoken by my beloved husband, and laughed and laughed and laughed.
If you don't know an Ironman, you might not get the joke. You see, no matter how much most Ironman finishers hate getting kicked in the head on the 2.4-mile swim (which resembles nothing so much as salmon spawning), no matter how much they hate their bike at the end of 112 miles, no matter how solemnly they swear they'll never run another step for the rest of their lives at the end of the 26.2-mile run, they will do it again.
Because they are lunatics.
At least, that's my conclusion.
Fortunately, they are the sort of lunatics you want to have around for entertainment value, not the terrifying sort that try to get you to join them in their masochistic shenanigans. After all, someone has to stand on the sidelines and cheer them on.
If you'd like to follow George and a few of his lunatic friends who are tackling Ironman Wisconsin (affectionately referred to as IM Moo), stick around Questioning for the weekend. There will be photos and videos and jokes and all sorts of amazing physical accomplishments by racers...and even by a certain blogger, who will heroically retrieve George's heavy bags and nasty, sticky, sweaty bicycle and schlep them to the hotel while he's trying not to pass out or vomit on the marathon course.
I do this because I love him and, more importantly, because abandoning a $6,000 bike in the Monona Terrace parking lot simply isn't an option.
A note to email subscribers...if you wait for the posts to arrive in your mailbox, you'll miss some of the fun. On Sunday, I'll link to the live feed of the finish line and keep you posted during the day about George's progress. It'll all be old news Monday morning. Check in and refresh the page if you want to follow along.