I always find that a difficult one. When running a 10k I usually won't drink any water at all - unless it's particularly warm day. But on a half I'm aware that I really need to - but find it difficult to do without stopping running. But if I'm running OK at that point then I don't really want to stop running. But I tend to take the view that I need to be sensible - so if I really should be having a drink then I need to make sure that I do. But stopping running only makes it more difficult to start though.
I got a place in VLM in the ballot last year at my first ever attempt. There was no way I was going to do it this year so deferred until 2017. So far, though, my progress seems to have amounted to have finally got in the habit of getting out to regular parkruns on a Saturday morning. Beyond that - have struggled round a few 10ks and did get to do my first half marathon - which was about half walking half running last October. My problem is with anxiety over going out running so it's proving very difficult. Have made some progress though - just need to make a lot more if I'm going to be there next year - but obviously really don't want the chance to slip away when it's so difficult to get in again.
I spent 7 years aiming for a half marathon before I finally achieved it last year. What made the difference for me in the end was friends who offered to support me on the day. I'd done very little training for it. But I knew I was capable of walking 13 miles so it was a case of, on that basis, I knew I could get round it - and it was just a case of running as much of it as I was able. I took a couple of days off work before the weekend of the race so was a relaxed as I could be before it.
On the basis of what you've said I would have thought you are capable of running the majority of the distance - and that should be enough to keep you ahead of the sweepers.
Wondering whether I should really be looking for a working at it quickly thread. I'm currently trying to work towards doing London Marathon next year. Got a place in last year's ballot but deferred for a year. So far, since getting the place last year, my progress seems to have amounted to at least now getting out regularly on Saturday mornings for parkruns. But finding anything beyond that very challenging due to problems with anxiety when getting out there. Keen to push on though but progress does seem slow.
Lots of options round here as mentioned above. It's possible to join the South Common into a longer run by linking into Cross O'Cliff down to the riverside path, to Boultham Park then the path along Catchwater Drain down to Hartsholme Park and Swanholme Lakes and back via Boultham Moor.