TIjoe, I had started swimming with a masters group about 1 1/2 years prior to starting to practice the TI method of learning. I was in great physical condition, but despite all the advise from the masters coaching, I just couldn't improve. One week I would follow one piece of advise with no results and the next week another piece advise with no improvement. I was getting to the point of thinking of quitting because of the frustration and the physical demand of trying to keep up. Now I can relax and enjoy my swimming and I'm swimming faster while relaxed than my hardest effort before I started TI.
I did take a TI workshop and a few months later a one hour tune up from a TI coach. After each of these instruction sessions, I saw a noticable improvement in my swimming(after practicing what I learned). I just couldn't get it from reading the book or watching the DVD.
One of my goals is to get smooth enough in th next year or two, so that I can cruise continuously at about a 1:30 pace for 100meters. I hope this helps a little. Good luck, keep working on it.