Entertainment Sports Runner Molly Seidel Says She Almost Gave Up the Sport a Year Before Making the Olympic Team The athlete made history in February when she earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic roster in her first official marathon By Georgia Slater Georgia Slater Twitter Georgia Slater is a writer/reporter on the Parents team at PEOPLE. She began at the brand in 2018 as an editorial intern and later returned as an intern on the Food team. Upon graduating from the University of Maryland in 2019, Georgia worked as an entertainment intern at USA Today before coming back to PEOPLE as a digital news writer. In April 2021, she began her role as a Parents writer/reporter. People Editorial Guidelines Published on October 20, 2020 02:29 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Molly Seidel. Photo: Ian Walton/PA Images via Getty Molly Seidel was ready to set aside her running shoes before making history earlier this year. The Notre Dame graduate, who scored a spot on the U.S. Olympic team when running her first marathon in February, told USA Today in a new interview that she nearly quit the sport last year after numerous injuries. "I don't know if I can do this anymore," she texted her former Notre Dame coach, Matt Sparks. The 26-year-old said she had already begun applying for different jobs and was "figuring out what [her] life was going to be." Olympic Runner Shalane Flanagan on Her 'Unprecedented' First Year as a Coach and New Mom Little did Seidel know she would run one of the most important races of her life one year later. On Feb. 29, Seidel set out for her first marathon, which also happened to be the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in Atlanta, Georgia. She came in second place with a time of two hours, 27 minutes and 31 seconds, despite qualifying for the race with only a half-marathon time, USA Today reported. Molly Seidel. Maddie Meyer/Getty Seidel was simply running "for the experience," she told the outlet. The athlete currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is training with 25-year-old Jon Green, whom she calls her "best friend." Seidel left Boston's Freedom Track Club and now trains under her own regimen, which Sparks said has been extremely beneficial for the athlete. Woman, 25, Makes History by Qualifying for Olympics in Her First-Ever Marathon Attempt "Honestly, I think I am just in a better mental place," Seidel told the outlet of her current routine. "I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I'm having fun. I think that plays a huge role in it." RELATED VIDEO: Four-Time Olympian Ryan Lochte Wishes He Could Tell His Younger Self To 'Wake Up' The runner also revealed that she was relieved that the 2020 Olympic Summer Games would be postponed a year due to the pandemic. "Frankly, I was terrified of having my second marathon being the Olympics," she admitted. "This is a cool opportunity that most people don't have." Instead, Seidel completed her second marathon on Oct. 4 in London, where she finished sixth in two hours, 25 minutes and 13 seconds. Her impressive time makes her the ninth-fast American woman to run 26.2 miles, USA Today said.