“Hi friends, it’s been a hectic month for me, as I was doing my best not to cancel my US trip to race in Eugene last Saturday, but in the end it did not work out.
“The thing is, this winter I had to change my passport but I knew I would compete in Eugene as long ago as October last year so I applied to the US embassy a long time beforehand, on 20 March in Yekaterinburg to be exact; but somehow it took them almost two months to send the passport from the Yekaterinburg consulate to their main office in Moscow.
“For some time I stayed calm, thinking my visa application was being processed. Then, day-by-day, I was getting more and more nervous. Finally, I called and it turned out that my passport had been received in Moscow only on 14 May!
“I called the embassy, tried to explain my situation, telling them that I already had my tickets and hotel booking. I was even ready to fly to Eugene the day before the competition. I had the bag packed on the back seat of my car! Finally, they called me from the embassy on in the Monday morning this week (3 June) saying, ‘Dear Mariya, your visa is ready.’ I had to say, ‘Thanks, but I don’t need it anymore!’
“I had been looking forward to my season opening in Eugene for a long time but I changed my plans and decided to run at the Pechenkina Cup in Yerino on Sunday. I am always nervous before my first competition of the season, and this time the feeling was especially strong.
“I even cooked Russian borsch the day before I ran, just to try to calm down my nerves!
“I can say that I am quite satisfied with my first run, 1:58.75. It was a strong field and I can’t say that it felt so easy, but I had a very hard training camp, and it’s normal that I need some time to find my best shape again.
“Last season started for me in the same way, so I am quite confident about the future. Maybe I will now run 400m at the Moscow Challenge on 11 June, just to feel my speed, but I haven’t made my final decision yet.
“Probably the only good thing about my cancelled trip to Eugene is that I managed to spend another week at home. The day after Yerino, I had a nice breakfast with my husband and his brother Andrey. We tried to cook Belgium waffles, but they turned out to be so hard to make!
After several disastrous failed attempts, I gave up; but Alexey finally managed to bake a proper waffle. Wow, I was impressed, it was so tasty!
“Looking back at the nice moments during May, my husband gave me a big surprise for me and visited me at the training camp. He just opened the door of my hotel room with bunch of flowers and said, “Hello, here I am!”
“It was not totally unexpected, otherwise I think I would have fainted, but he had given some hints away and I suspected that he could turn up, and my woman’s intuition was right.
“Just to prove again how small our world actually is, recently in the Moscow underground I ran into Anna Chicherova! I just entered the train in the city centre and suddenly saw Anna was sitting in front of me. I still cannot believe how this is possible in megalopolis such as Moscow! We chatted a lot and almost missed our stations J“Talk to you again soon, Mariya."