"My philosophy on cycling is 'so much pain, so little gain'," she said.
Which suggests that maybe the 42-year-old wife and mother of one from Montgomery has a few more marathons left in her.
"My ultimate goal is to run all of the World Majors," said Godfrey. "Since I haven't been lucky enough to get into New York City via the lottery, I'm going to have to work on improving my half marathon time so I can time qualify."
Athletic time started in 1999 for Laura.
Her first race that year was the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure 5K in downtown Houston.
"I wish I could find the results," she laments some.
However, like many, running wasn't her initial key to fitness.
"I was a gym rat. I particularly loved step aerobics in my early 20s," she said. "I started mixing running and yoga in as well."
Even today, she says it's a toss up between hot yoga and a tempo run on hills that makes her feel the strongest.
Running strong, though, is something that has come to Laura, but it's taken some time.
|Laura looking strong here doing 1600s in a track workout leading up to last September's BQ.|
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
In fact, Laura believes that the 10K is her best distance and therefore, her favorite.
However, she admits that she has "a strange kind of addiction to the marathon."
The fascination with the marathon came at an early age -- even before she took a four-year break from running and working out when her daughter, Elle, was young.
"I always had a desire to run the marathon," Laura said. "The second part of my goal was to qualify for Boston. My 20-year-old self thought for sure I would do it on my first attempt."
Six years ago, Laura began to run again.
She raced the Austin Half Marathon on February 20, 2011 in 2:36:29.
"I knew that I wanted to tackle a marathon the next year," she said. "The 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon was my first and I finished it in 4:38:29.
"It went great actually. Probably the best I've ever felt at the end of a marathon. I trained entirely by myself with pretty much nothing but water."
Late in 2012, she brought her half marathon times under two hours with a pair of 1:58's -- 1:58:06 and 1:58:11 - at the Rock 'N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon in November 2012 and the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in January 2013.
After setting a PR at the Houston Half Marathon in October 2013 with a 1:44:55 performance, Laura lined up for the Chevron Houston Marathon the following January and came close to breaking the four-hour mark in 4:03:29.
Three more marathons in 2014 -- The Woodlands, 4:17:43; Zydeco, 4:09:11 and Chicago, 4:13:43 -- though still left her on the outside looking in at the four-hour standard.
"We had a big group (of 12 other runners) go to Chicago that year," said her coach, Volte Endurance Training's founder Bill Dwyer. "Laura ran with us as a guest a few times before the Chicago Marathon."
And not too long after, Dwyer said she made Volte her permanent running home.
|Laura at this past October's Houston Half Marathon.|
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
And with the base underneath, along with a few adjustments, she was finally be able to meet the first of the two goals -- doing so in January 2015 at the Chevron Houston Marathon with a time of 3:53:44.
It was then that she could process the possibility of being able to qualify to run the Boston Marathon.
"Since I didn't actually complete my first until 2012 and I wasn't in quite that shape I had been prior to having Elle, I adjusted (my) expectations," she added. "I felt like I had a shot at BQ'ing in 2015 and I set out to do just that at Revel Rockies that July.
"Unfortunately due to a mishap with the buses, I wasn't able to run the entire race."
And in early 2016, she started to be able to taste it after running 3:54:34 at Houston in January and a then-personal best of 3:51:52 at the Rock 'N' Roll New Orleans Marathon at the end of February.
Out went the semi-frequent racing of the past and as she put it, "I trained hard all summer in the Houston heat hoping this would be the race that earned me a Boston Qualifying time."
That race was the Tunnel Light Marathon just outside of Seattle, Washington and was held on September 18, 2016.
Laura had the classic "A", "B" and "C" goals: "C" was her BQ at 3:45, "B" was "at least a 3:42" and "A" was "to be under 3:40."
She ran the race with her training partner, Sandra Tezino, who was running her first marathon and had decided to run with the 3:40 pacer.
|Laura and Sandra Tezino after their last 20-miler before Tunnel Light Marathon.|
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
"Our coach had given us general guidelines to shoot for an 8:15 pace, never running faster than an eight-minute mile," she said. "A mile into the (2.4-mile) tunnel (at the start of the race), something inside me told me I just needed to go for it.
"So I sped up and never looked back."
The course was a packed dirt and gravel trail with a gradual decline almost all the way to the bottom.
Then Laura's music went out after two songs.
"I knew that it was just going to be the Big Guy, myself and the trail," she added.
But there was an unintended benefit to it all.
"I was able to settle into a rhythm and I started feeling the course. I learned when I could surge and when the trail was flattening out and I needed to pull back and conserve a bit," she explained. "Had I zoned out to music I wouldn't have been able to do this as well. Also if I had run with the pacer I wouldn't have been able to listen to my body."
At mile 21, Laura felt like a BQ was in the making after maintaining between a 7:55 and an 8:13 pace through that point.
However, the trail started to flatten out for quite a while.
And we'll let Laura re-tell the story from here:
"My new mini goal was just to make it to 23. Around 23.5, I was in so much pain and decided I would pull back a bit and just maintain my 8:55 pace and settle for a 3:41 or 3:42.
"At mile 24, I heard a really loud voice saying "this girl is running her first marathon and she is killing it!" Well I knew exactly who that was and I knew that the 3:40 pacer was on my heels.
"This was all the motivation I needed to speed it back up. Once they caught me at mile 25 the pacer absolutely made it his mission to get us both over the finish line under 3:40.
"The trail became really rocky and it was hard to keep my footing, but we held on and finished Sandra 3:39:18 and myself 3:39:35.
|Two happy Boston Qualifiers!|
(Photo courtesy of Alan Gastineau)
Laura said that "it was a completely surreal experience and definitely my greatest running experience thus far."
And that leaves Boston on Monday, April 17.
Her goal? "Just to enjoy it and take it all in," she said.
It's a big day for Laura - and others - and she's quick to give credit to those who helped make it all possible.
"I've definitely been blessed by the Lord, with a beautiful life that allows me to pursue my dreams," she said. "I have a very supportive husband and daughter who always encourage and root for me.
"I have an amazing run family (Volte) and coach (Bill) who have inspired and helped me more than I can express in words.
"And, obviously, the months of training with Sandra have profoundly affected my running. She definitely makes me a better runner and person. While months and months of chasing Jen (Smith) and Mayra (Caamano) on League Line Road certainly helped me get faster and stronger."
Some notions that Dwyer reciprocates about Laura.
"Laura is an amazing person, very consistent with her training, keeps things in the proper perspective and supports everyone around her," he said. "And watching her just one time you know that she has the talent to make it to Boston."