Power in numbers.

Another weekend, another run. But this time we had company.

Erin and I were joined by Chief of Stuff, XT4, and Newt and Leonard, a couple of precious Vizslas, on our weekly romp through Madison.

The seven-and-a-quarter miles were hampered a bit by a heavy snowfall, but about halfway through, the weather became less of a distraction and more of an enjoyment. It's one thing to run in the cold, but the peace that comes with falling snow keeps your mind off of the icicles that form in your eyelashes.

It was XT4's first run in a group, which I found to be mind-blowing. We already know how I feel about training partners (something about heaven opening up and angels singing), but to have met someone who's gone it alone for so long was intriguing.

He's just always run alone, he said.

Wow.

The dynamic amongst us, human and dogs, was refreshing. Reminiscent of what I had in my old running club. We kept pace, we bantered, we talked training. And I continued to be inspired by what others have to bring to the training run.

Just another reminder of why I continue to do this.

I headed out solo this afternoon - last run as a 25-year-old, thank you - and had an equally enjoyable six-miler. The temperature was perfect, the bike path was cleared of snow and my iPod played the perfect mix of music.

It's refreshing, at the end of a long workweek, to fit in a couple of good, long runs. I'm back in the groove, just shy of 100 miles ran for the year. I've got the mud stains on my shoes and the blisters on my feet to prove it.

No better way to go.