I'd pushed myself right to the top, via the steep route I normally took. There were no side detours, no minor route changes. This day more than others, I was scared of backsliding. I didn't want to take a path which was even inadvertently easier, less work. If I could keep pushing myself even when my body couldn't support me on that climb and make it, it counted for something.
Step 41: The hills there are to climb don't go away. Climbing them repeatedly doesn't diminish them. They may get easier to climb with time, but the frequent repeated climbs to get you there will no doubt leave you in worse shape than you started, at least for a while. Sometimes, that is just a price you must pay.