I want to thank everyone for their responses. This was the highlight of my day -- LRC exceeded all expectations. The witty wisdom of the LRCers, for sure. I knew when I posted the question I was about to get crucified for HJ-type thoughts (and told a couple of friends that), and I appreciated and welcomed very much the witty skewering I got (that to be clear also delivered wisdom, just wittily)-- "mindweak" (true enough), someone asking if I was going to be dressed up as a PacMan?, 1:32 goal pace? LOL, it's 40 degrees FFS!. We can go anywhere in society to be told "good job" no matter what we do; LRC is one of the few places one can get honest and neutral (and witty) views.
And along with that a lot of earnest advice. Because of it, I won't wear the hydro belt, I'll wear short sleeves instead of long, will be sure to take in a lot of water after I wake up, and will do the pinch cup and walk 3 strides thing at a couple of water stations. I didn't realize it was such a no brainer that all that was needed (at most) was a few sips of water during the course of a 90 minute or so half. I assumed you needed several ounces.
Thank you again, you all made my day, as you do so many days. I'll update on how it goes. For the record, I'm dealing with about 10 extra pounds, and insufficient aerobic base after 15 years off running.
So hopefully in due course a few more minutes will come off the half time, if life permits. The half is kind of a base-building exercise (and fun) to try and take a shot at sub-5 for the first time in my life in the winter -- been my dream since freshman year of HS, didn't hit it then and basically stopped running competitively sophomore year HS.