All the preparations in the world can never prepare you for the unexpected twists and turns of any race. Especially your first one. Some of my best races were when things went wrong or not exactly how I had planned. It is the ability to adapt quickly, make split second decisions which will determine the outcome of the race. The only time I ever had stomach issues in a race was during my very first Ironman in South Africa which sent me to the port-o-pot every time I tried to speed up my run. It was awful...but it was the most amazing experience of my life. An experience which continued to change my life and form my career, bringing me to where I am today. Taking the good with the bad, learning from one's mistakes and adapting to any situation that is thrown at you is what will make for a great experience.