I saw the doctor Friday and the only question I had for him was "Can I run?". And he said yes, I can start running again.
I hit the road first thing this morning. I felt awkward and clumsy for the first mile but I didn't care-I was running. I went out without a Garmin or heart rate strap or music; I just wanted to run again. By mile 2 I felt normal and relaxed. I managed an easy, slow 3 miles and I'm ok with that; it's been almost a month since my last run and I'm fine with building up a nice base over the days to come.
I decided that if my goal is to be a lifetime runner, then an occasional set back won't matter-it's only the big picture that counts, and in that big picture I'll be 80 years old and still out there knocking out the miles.