There's also a blob in the upper right.
I'm not big on GNDs for this very same reason. I would have exposed for the woman and just let the sky wash out, particularly since nothing was going on in that sky. I keep my lens hoods on ALL the time. If I'd really been worried about the sky, I would have taken two exposures and combined them.
You had no choice here but to shoot into the sun. I spend a lot of effort trying to avoid that, planning when I'll arrive at a site and where the sun will be when I get there, but you can't always do that. Back with film, the GND was our only choice, but I really like combining images now to solve problems. (HDR, stitch and composite are your friends).