I'm just back from an evening at the track, happy that my knee coped well with the intervals.
I should maybe say I was a fairly new, very slow runner before injury. I'm not sure if that makes a difference.
My surgeon was also reluctant to operate, but when I still couldn't walk without a stick 6 months after the injury he agreed.
I'm almost a year on now, and it has been a slow return, but mainly due to muscles which were inactive before the surgery. My hamstring stopped working completely. And my gait has changed slightly, meaning foot and achilles niggles.
I know surgery increases the risk of arthritic change, but I still think that must be better than a tear rubbing with every step.
The actual surgery was straightforward. I could put weight on it the same day snd started running about 10 weeks later. There are 3 tiny scars.
It might help to get an opinion from a surgeon or physio who runs. I'm not sure my surgeon was a runner, but he was keen to get me back to pre injury levels of activity.
I have to say, my experience is the opposite of that above, and having the tear repaired by arthroscopy made such an improvement. Before the surgery I couldn't run, and was struggling to walk normally. Immediately afterwards I could feel something had improved.
I was also told that running on a knee with a meniscus tear in it was more likley to lead to degenerative change.
I have a similar problem. I get it when hiking in the heat too. I drink lots of water, so don't think it's dehydration for me, but a few articles I've read say a lack or water or salt might be a cause. Another idea I've read, relating to walking, is that fluid is collecting in the fingers as they point down most of the time. I tried walking with poles, and I think this was better.
To translate this idea to running, maybe focus on really pumping your arms for parts of your run, so the muscles can get the fluid into and up the veins?
Whatever you do, don't try and cram too much training in before then and get yourself injured. Allow yourself at least a couple of days rest each week, and if you get a niggle give yourself a few more.
When it comes to the race, don't go off too fast at the start, or it will get trickly later.