We report on carbon monoxide desorption and oxidation induced by 400 nm femtosecond laser excitation on the O/Ru(0001) surface probed by time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy (TR-XAS) at the carbon K-edge. The experiments were performed under constant background pressures of CO (6x10-8 Torr) and O2 (3x10-8 Torr). Under these conditions, we detect two transient CO species with narrow 2π* peaks, suggesting little 2π* interaction with the surface. Based on polarization measurements, we find that these two species have opposing orientations: (1) CO favoring a more perpendicular orientation and (2) CO favoring a more parallel orientation with respect to the surface. We also directly detect gas-phase CO2 using a mass spectrometer and observe weak signatures of bent adsorbed CO2 at slightly higher X-ray energies than the 2π* region. These results are compared to previously reported TR-XAS results at the O K-edge where the CO background pressure was three times lower (2x10-8 Torr) while maintaining the same O2 pressure. At the lower CO pressure, in the CO 2π* region, we observed adsorbed CO and a distribution of OC-O bond lengths close to the CO oxidation transition state, with little indication of gas-like CO. The shift towards 'gas-like' CO species may be explained by the higher CO exposure, which blocks O adsorption, decreasing O coverage and increasing CO coverage. These effects decrease the CO desorption barrier through dipole-dipole interaction, while simultaneously increasing the CO oxidation barrier.