There is always something to come of every first race. Expect the unexpected. Shift and morph plan as necessary. Learn from the moments. You can experience total bliss and agonizing pain all at the same time. Blisters will bleed and sweat will sting your eyes and chafe your skin. You will forget the pain as you run down the tunnel of cheers spectators. Your body will overpower your mind when the finish line comes into site and what once you thought was impossible, you now experience a feeling that you've never been stronger.
EMBRACE those moments. Embrace them all. Because no matter how good or bad they are at the time, you will never experience another first again. The first is the start of your new journey. Your first will impact how your train for the next...or not. Your first will will be your platform on how you make decisions in the next.
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.