What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

RIP, 2016.

I almost feel like I am mourning the loss of 2016 because I didn't write a damn thing about the second half of what turned out to be the most amazing year of my entire life!  YES...you read that right. And actually 2017, in just 25 short days, has already blown 2016 out. of. the. water.  BUT, that's a whole 'nuther post folks!  

The last you heard, I was gearing up for a brutal cycling challenge, the Bob Cook Memorial Mt Evans Hill Climb -Gran Fondo last July.  I had busted my ass week after week AFTER WEEK getting ready for this "race" and I even called myself out for a top 5 finish.  Me.  Top 5?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA  Seriously, that was me pretty much talking out my arse, as I don't have a competitive bone in my body... except for when it comes to making people laugh.  Then  I need to be number 1.  

Anyways.  I had my road bike exactly less than 1 week and I decided I would go balls to the WALL and see what I could do.  And holy effing EFF.  I have never hurt SO good SO bad on a bike ride.  Ever.  When I finished that 28 mile ride, with just a mere 7,000 feet of climbing, I got off of the bike and every single muscle in my legs seized up.  I have never experienced that before.  And I can't wait to feel it again this July!  Although I didn't race in a "category" I still felt like I raced for my life against the 76 women in the Gran Fondo.  I had a 36 minute PR.  That in and of itself was an absolute WIN.  Come to find out that I came in 12th place overall and was 5th in my age group. Yes. TOP 5.  ME!  I DID IT!  

Perspective:  I finished this grueling 28 mile ride in 3:12 and the course record holder is Tom Danielson with an insane 1:41.  Seriously?  THAT IS SICK FAST! So my goal for this year?  Sub 3, of course.  And a big, fat W for my age group.  I just need 19 minutes to do that. I'm from Chicago, the North Side actually. Yeah, so if the Cubs can win the World Series???  Well then... any chance I get to Fly the W, you can bet your ass I will!  GO CUBS!  GO ME!  And the rest of 2016 turned out to be pretty damn amazing.  New Years Eve?  Nothing short of a miracle.  and fireworks.  Lots and lots of big, smoochy fireworks... xxoo
Mt Evans Hill Climb - post race

A view from the top of my favorite ride in the world

Cubs win the World Series!  Fly the W 

Yes... it did :) 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

God's honest truth.


This is going to have to be a "speed dating" version of the Tiara Ditcher's life recap, year-to-date. I don't know where to start, so I am going to write like I live my life...on. a. whim. NO regrets.  I apologize in advance for what I am about to say.  Why?  Simply because I feel like I have to.  This is going to be random.  Free flowing.  and completely candid.  I am done hiding. hinting. and hurting. So here you go. The real, REAL me. I hope you are ready for MY God's honest truth. 

Life came to a complete and screeching halt on Monday, March 28th. I still cannot wrap my head around what happened. I was blindsided. The man that I had thought I was going to spend the rest of my life loving, living with and worshiping the Lord with decided to end it.  I am still shocked, saddened and overwhelmingly stunned that I invested more than 2+ years of my life and heart into something and someone that turned out to be nothing more than "an experience."  Do I still cry at night?  Yeah, I still fucking cry.  Almost every single day. This one stings like no other, and it is going to take someone incredibly freaking special to rip me from the claws of this heartbreak.  The things that save me?  That hold my *shit together*?  
1. God and my church. 
2. My friends and family. 
3. ...and my freaking bike. 

So that was March. 

April?  No clue as to specifics.  I was in mourning. I drank way too much. Got the freaking flu for 9 days. and cried way too much more.  BUT! I found out who my real friends were!

May?  I was baptized and that was honestly, the single greatest day of my whole entire life. Red Rocks Church is by far, the most wonderful thing to ever happen to me.  I cry just typing this.  I am not, nor have I ever been a "churchy" kind of girl.  but damnit, I am a child of God. and for that reason ALONE, I am able to wake up every day joyful and hopeful!!!!

June? I raced with my sweet Angel friend, Pj, at the Loveland Lake to Lake triathlon!  If you don't know what Athletes in Tandem is, please CLICK HERE to find out about how amazing this foundation is! 

July?  This girl is going after the QOM title.
My training.... 
July 3 - Mt Evans 
July 9 - Pikes Peak 
July 13 - Deer Creek to High Grade PR
July 16 - Mt Evans
July 17 -  St Vrain Canyon 
Do you know how much climbing on my bike I have done this month?  A SHIT METRIC TON!!!!!!!!!! And I am going to put all this hard training and dedication to the test on Saturday at the Bob Cook Memorial Mt Evans Hill Climb.  My goal is to place Top 5 in my age group. Oh yeah, I  forgot to mention that I *finally* upgraded to a road bike.  and a sick one at that. A BH.
I am fitted.  
I am fueled.  
and I am fired up for the greatest bike race of my life!

I have rolled with the punches. I have been saved. and I have finally beaten a 26 year battle with bulimia. Yeah, you read that right. I AM IN RECOVERY!!!  Life isn't perfect.  Life isn't what I had planned it to be.  But by God's honest truth?  
LIFE. IS. CRAZY FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Care package when I had the flu

My iron Betty sisters

the badass Betty Susan! 

my baptism

my baptism family

Me and Pj - Loveland L2L


My Kittens and intervals at DC 

My rock 


Mt Evans Ride #1 

Pikes Peak 
Her final climb - Mt Evans a second time

Deer Creek PR! 

My gorgeous new ride - a BH! 

Monday, March 21, 2016


The last eight months have been...well...they've just been. Ok, ok, you don't do vague.  So it's been ...a scary ass roller coaster ride on a broken down track?  A town leveling tornado? Or quite plainly, a surreal series of unbelievable events. And I am not sure exactly what happened to me, or better yet, what moment in time that sparked the change that catapulted me to get to today's state of mind, but I am so happy to admit that my past is behind me. Finally.  For real. I swear. and I MEAN IT. The past is in the past. Every trial, struggle, obstacle and nightmarish life event that has shaped me into the glittery, happy girl I am today is once and for all, a part of the process of who I have become, and no longer a part of who I am.  It may not seem like that there is much difference in that extremely long run-on sentence, but I assure you, the difference couldn't be more apparent.  Especially if you were to spend time with me.  Hell, I actually enjoy spending time with M Y S E L F.  I no longer do things to avoid life, my life.  I have stopped using "ironman training" as an excuse to ignore my problems, and deflect from developing (and nurturing) relationships with people who want to love me simply because... I spend time only with people who make me want to bring the best version of me forward, and that have qualities and traits that I respect and admire, and work towards obtaining for myself. I pray. I read the bible. I do unassisted chin-ups and pull-ups.  I go to work without make-up. The list goes on. These may seem like simple, mundane, ordinary things... but I assure you, to someone like me, who has lived almost her entire life with an undiagnosed emotional personality disorder, leaving her feeling so UNLOVABLE and different? Yeah, those things are all really extraordinary. I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing it is to finally feel.......................................normal.

[QUICK SIDE NOTE: Honestly? I am totally OK with never doing another ironman again. Seriously. I love my free time and freedom from commitment.  But.  I still have some unfinished business in CdA, and with just five months to prepare, I really do need to light a fire under my booty. I have yet to swim since last October, and have only gotten in a handful of bike rides. Writing has always been the one thing that I could count on to spark my inspiration.  and so here I am, back ditching the tiara.]  

Ok. back to lovable.  What is that exactly?! That is a word that fell so short of ever being in my dictionary, let alone everyday vocabulary. But through my journey to get from the horrible to the happy, I can only say this. I have discovered that I am indeed. most undoubtedly. truly...  


adjective  lov·able  \ˈlə-və-bəl\
As defined by Merriam-Webster:
easy to love : having attractive or appealing qualities

As previously defined by me
someone that is pretty on the outside, as well as inside : someone that is perfect and never unhappy with who they are : NOT ME

As presently defined by me
someone that is capable of looking in the mirror, and able to acknowledge all of the scars, flaws and imperfections, and recognize and appreciate the real beauty that is staring back : ME    

How did I become lovable?  Or perhaps the question should really be, how did I finally realize that I have always been lovable? Well. That story my friend, is better served to be written over a glass of wine (or perhaps two), and not just a cup of coffee...but I do promise to share with you my incredible journey to this personal victory, and all of the reasons why I now feel like I finally deserve to wear my tiara...and why I want to share this with you, so that you too, are able to consistently look in the mirror, smile wide and see all of the reasons that the world finds YOU \ˈlə-və-bəl\! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

IRONing things out.

Fuck. It's June 22nd.  and?  and.  and, well, I don't know. I just don't know. How did the first six months of 2015 escape me. I  moved again.  and it makes the ninth time.  I am so over it, but I wanted to be closer to work, closer to my absolute favorite place to ride, closer to my Joyful friend, and closer to the person that I actually call "home."  and he's exactly .2 miles away.  So it's like we're practically living together, but we're still in charge of our own laundry. And one day, I'll accidentally throw his whites in with my pinks, and I'll frantically call my mom to ask her how to get his clothes white again.  Guess I should invest in a lot of bleach.  {{{OH yeah.  Remember my duct tape post? #9? I am single again...apparently you CAN have more than one true love. I hope I find him.}}} Um. Turns out that your one true love, can actually be your only true love. And that if you do lose each other, you can find each other again. And I can thank God for that.
*I really do need to say thank you to one particular piece of duct tape that held me together during a very shitty time.  I love you Joy. Thank you for helping me to "fill up those balloons and let them go." 

Ok. So. Now. June 22nd.  You are up to speed on my personal life, you really didn't miss out on much. Now, for the good stuff. training.  racing. Ironman. What's up with all of that? Since deciding in October to stay off the bike, and out of my running shoes, I turned my focus to the gym.  More specifically the weight room, 6 days a week. There were days that my entire cardio routine consisted of 10 minutes on the stair master, then 2 hours lifting, pumping iron. lol Yes, my skinny butt is tougher than you think! And when I decided to return to cycling and running, I was scared that I had lost all of my fitness and would be starting all over again.  But that didn't happen. It was as if I never took the time off.  I couldn't believe it.  I feel so much stronger on the bike. I feel solid on the run.  and I don't feel injured. 2014 was a disaster. 3 hamstring tears, an adductor strain, a groin pull, high hamstring tendonapathy, bursitis and obturator nerve entrapment. But my stubborn ass listened to my doctors and I healed.  I still have a teeny, tiny, wee bit of annoyance on my right glute/hamstring, BUT it doesn't keep me away from what I love to do, and it continues to fade away with time.  I ran 14 miles Saturday. Rode 7 hours yesterday and I feel like a million dollars. I finally feel like a triathlete again. 

My biggest struggle these past few months, has been deciding whether or not I actually wanted to race another ironman this year. Three in five months last year was a blast, but I was hurt and I made things so much worse by being stubborn.  Forcing myself to R.E.S.T over the winter was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life.  I have been an "ironman in training" since 2008. Rest is not a word in my vocabulary, never has been. My mom said I took my first steps at 6 months.  Not even as a frigging baby did I rest! BUT if I wanted to walk, let alone race again pain-free for the rest of my life, I had to rest. And I thought I was going to die. I really did. 

I have identified myself with some sort of endurance sport since 1998. I'm the girl that gets asked all the time, "You training for anything?  When's your next race?"  My friends had/have stopped asking me to do things socially because I would/will respond with a very apologetic "no, I have to get up early to train." So lame.  I was/have been so. fucking. lame.  Doing ironman is supposed to be for FUN.  I don't get paid.  I don't win.  Ironman is lonely.  and I hate being alone, so why did I choose to isolate myself so much, train alone, passing on invitations from friends to run or ride with them. Events of my past can definitely answer that question.  But it's the past.  I need to let go.  I need to LET IT ALL GO.  Easier said than done for me. I know. But I also know I am not alone with these types of struggles.  I know SO many people reading this right now feel the same way, throwing themselves so deeply into something to escape. It's easy to do. But you and I never really escape, do we? What we were running from just sits there, waiting patiently to make us feel worse. Which it often does. And at that point we really are capable of making a decision.  Keep running from your past wrinkles in life.  Or iron them out, once and for all.

Soooooo....will I do an ironman this year, now knowing what I know about myself?  I think so. Probably. Maybe? Right now I'm training for Redman (again) at the end of September. But if I decide later this summer that I don't want to do it, then I won't.  And I won't feel bad. Or guilty. OR that I am letting people down. Well, I might at first, but I know the right people to talk to about that, to get out of that old mindset and be OK with my choice.

I know for certain that I am doing two other triathlons this year. A 70.3 called Pigman with Joy. It's a fun distance for me. And she's a fun person, so it should be a blast! And then I am going to do...dare I say this...as I have declared that I would NEVER ever do this distance.  EVER.  [ENTER: HEAVY SIGH AND A DEEP BREATH] I am going to do ~ choking on my own words, eyes closed tight ~ A ... SPRINT! DISTANCE! TRIATHLON!  Holy shit. There.  I said it.  It's out.  I can now breathe.  I was originally going to race the Olympic distance. But for once, this race is not about me. I'm not. doing. it. for. me.

I will be a triathlete for someone else. A 29 year old named Andrew. He loves cats and the Beatles. He's a riot. He's funny. And he has cerebral palsy. So on Saturday, I will pull him in a raft. Pull him in a trailer hitched to the back of my bike (I hope he likes PINK!) And push him on wheels during the run.  And I can tell you right now that I will be a happy, emotional mess when we start, tearing up in my goggles, as I have at previous ironman races. My <<< triathlon jazz hands >>> will be wilder than ever, my arms will be raised higher in victory than any ironman finish. And you will see the biggest smile I have ever flashed, plastered to my face. I love this kid and I haven't even met him yet. He's my hero.  He's my inspiration. and he is the only reason that I will EVER do another Sprint again.  This race is about HIM. Not me. I will be his body, while he is my spirit on Saturday. And I'm going to proudly represent my team, #bettydesigns, fiercer than ever.

I would like to very humbly ask that you make a $10 donation to Athletes in Tandem, so that many  people like Andrew can experience the same joy and pride that we have all had the privilege of feeling.  We are all able to make the very conscious and often times, selfish choice to participate in triathlon.  We choose to feel that pain.  He does not.  He never did.  and wouldn't it feel good to share that pure joy we get when racing with someone else?  Please consider it. $10. The price of a lunch at work when you're too lazy to brown bag it.  The cost of a few Bonk Breakers and some gels to train and race with.  Please think about it. And if you are unable to donate financially, I absolutely understand.  So then I ask you to find a way to donate your time to the triathlon community. It's my family. And it can be yours too. 


Friday, April 10, 2015

Femme une femme

When I was 14, I only had one thing on my mind.  Boys. {Wait a minute. Strike that.  Reverse it. Thank you.}  I still do. At the age of 42.  Some things will never change.  ever.  like in the *history* of EVER.  and as a big time girly-girl, I'm pretty much the furthest thing from Gloria Steinem. but I AM one fiercely independent Scorpio. SIDE NOTE: And I WOULD, because I COULD, kick your ass if you messed with me or my family...with lip gloss on of course.  So I guess I'm somewhere in the middle, not really giving a shit about things, people or situations I can't control. If people want to be ignorant assholes and bash on women, or our rights, go for it. and they can also go fuck themselves while they're at it, because if I get upset about it, I am giving "them" power.  and that is not something you're going to get out of me.  Don't get me wrong, I consider myself equal, (and even at times better - what can I say - I'm a Scorpio) and I believe in my gender's rights.  But I am not going to picket and protest.  My beliefs are mine, and I don't need to publicly share them. At the end of the day, the only person's opinion of myself, as a woman, that matters is my own. But I do not condemn, nor find fault in, the women that DO openly voice themselves. I fiercely support them in my own way, and especially one in particular.

I am related to a real spit-fire of a non-girly-girl, that has such a special place in my heart. She's a total badass. And not because she's my godchild, and kindred Scorpio, with her birthday falling just one day after mine. But because she DOES give a shit about what society thinks of women, and openly voices herself. I give her massive kudos for her conviction. Why her in particular? because she's only 14. Boys?  Meh - take 'em or leave 'em...for now.  I am not going to say she hates pink buuuuuutttttttttttttttt...she kinda does. High heels, lip gloss, and lots of make-up?  Nah. While I had a wicked Barbie doll collection growing up, she fancied those Uglydolls (which ARE kind of cute) and Sock Monkeys. This kid's pretty much the anti mini-me, and so wicked cool because of it. She's her own free spirit.  Like me. Drives her mom crazy. Like I did. (Did ma. DID!) And I suppose she's not really a kid anymore, but she will always be to me. 

Earlier this year, one of her class assignments was to write a poem.  I'm not even sure what the class was, or the topic. It really doesn't matter. I just know she put some serious thought into the message that she wanted to share with her class, and I guess now the world. When I received the email from my sister, with this kid's point of view on the equality of women, my jaw dropped. My skin tingled. And then I cried.  I am not inspired easily.  Motivated?  Heck yeah. But it takes someone, or something so out of this world amazing, to inspire me.  and I can honestly say, without hesitation, that this kid is at the top of my "inspiration" list. 

Her words. Her wisdom. Her win for women. 

"You're an Over the Top Feminist..."
A Poem Explaining Why.

I am a feminist.
I am not here to hate the other sex, I am here to quiet gender roles like others try to quiet me.
I am here for the girls who feel obligated to change themselves for men who don't deserve them.
I am here to fight for my gender to not be called a bitch when being direct, but to be taken as seriously as a "powerful leader."
I am here to be looked at like a person, and not as something that can be bought, or made, like a doll on my son's shelf.
Teach boys and girls the same.
I am ready to fight and break down the wall society has made to try to block me out, to make me less important.
Because girls shouldn't feel sorry for not shaving, for dressing more "masculine" because they want to.
I will use my words as swords to cut through the mess we have made. I will as "dedicated" as a king, but I am not a king, nor will I ever be. I am a queen, I am a girl.
I am just as important as you.
I am strong and powerful and beautiful, and not bossy, not annoying, not stupid...but you can't rule without a king, right?
I am equal.

Chew on that haters. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Duct tape.

I am under serious construction right now... emotionally, mentally and physically. (aaaaaand I have decided this blog absolutely needs a facelift too...Ditch the Tiara finally has its own domain name, but I am just too lazy to start working on it!!) 

At the end of last year, I applied for all sorts of construction permits.  I was starting to pick out upgrades that I had hoped would give my mind and body a better place to live in. I knew that my "home" needed to be renovated. I tried to slow down, take time for me, rest more, train less, etc. etc. etc. Recently, I have been notified that all of my permits have been D. E. N. I. E. D.  So I'm stuck.  in the middle of this mess. Walls are half built. Floors are half tiled. Door frames are erect, but nothing to seal them shut. Where the fuck are the doors? How am I supposed to keep the good shit in, and the bad shit out?  I'll tell you how.  With some good ol' fashion duct tape.  That's how.  But sparkly. and pink.  It really exists you know, sparkly, pink duct tape?  Yeah, it's out there.  And it's fucking fantastic. And for now, it's going to have to do. It's the shit that's holding my life together.  

my newest life accessory

Side note. I have recently come to love lists. 1) They're perfect for breaking up the monotony of a regular sentence. 2) They help me to organize my thoughts. 3) I guess they're supposed to help me organize my thoughts, hence the whole point of THE list. 4.) Making a list right now will allow me to briefly, and efficiently, fill you in as to  why the hell I currently need lots of sparkly, pink duct tape.

1. I have not run since October 19th. 
2. I have ridden my bike exactly 3 times since October 25th. 
3. I love to run and I love to bike.  
4. I am not sure, nor is my orthopedic doctor, why it hurts to run, but hopefully when I see him tomorrow we'll finally figure out why.
5. At least it doesn't hurt to ride my bike anymore. 
6. I wonder how long I can make this list. 
7. I think my hamstrings are healed and are not the source of the pain. 
8. Oh yeah. I am in pain, hence the no running thing. OH WAIT...refer back to #4.
9. I am single again...apparently you CAN have more than one true love. I hope I find him. Again.
10. Work is kicking my ass, but it doesn't hurt as much as it does to run. 
11. I went through something really depressing and totally awful earlier this year.  Thankfully time is healing this wound. 
12. I want to run.  
13. I have NO idea if I am going to do an Ironman this year, let alone any distance triathlon.
14. I have NO idea if I even WANT to do an Ironman this year, let alone any distance triathlon. 
15. Add up numbers 1 through 14 and it equals, well, it doesn't really equal anything because it's a list, not an equation. der.
16. Buy more sparkly, pink duct tape.  

ps. duct tape is code word for the best and sweetest friends I have ever (and never) met.