It was so much easier going back the second time at least knowing where to go and having a little bit of a routine. Sometimes I just couldn't keep track of everything--if I paid attention to kicking fast and putting my hands in the water in the right direction I forgot to watch for the flags that warned me of the end of the lane (that was the backstroke so I didn't even need to worry about coordinating my breathing at the same time). Sometimes when I was swimming freestyle it would begin to come together for a few strokes and then I would get a mouthful of water and stop, sputtering. I realized afterwards swimming requires coordination, unlike bicycling or running. But I have a sense of making a little progress, so I have hope.
One of the swimmers is an organizer of a local group of women training for triathlons (someone told me they range in age from 24 to 52). So now I need to get their schedule.